The human-pet bond is an incredibly unique relationship. While most species prefer to stick to their own kind, humans have cultivated a special affinity for certain animals. We spend huge amounts of time and money walking our dogs, playing with our cats, taking care of our horses, cleaning cages, and feeding our favorite pets.
Veterinarians witness this connection on a daily basis. In fact, their entire practice depends on the attachment people have to their pets. Since machine-power has replaced animal-power in helping humans work, we depend on our animals almost exclusively for emotional support.
A recent study assessed the level of interest younger Americans, known as millennials, show in their pets. Not only are millennials willing to give up experiences like going to bars, sporting events, concerts, and trips for their pets, they’d also rather sacrifice social media and smartphones than lose a pet.
A startling 92% of millennials are as concerned about their pets’ health as their own. This level of care and commitment should be matched by the veterinary clinics providing care to the pets of these dedicated owners. A major part of showing care and commitment to clients is establishing clear lines of communication.
It’s common knowledge that millennials are nearly as obsessed with their phones as they are with their pets. Though they’re stereotyped as text junkies, millennials do prefer actual phone calls in a number of situations. Data show that millennials prefer to use phone calls to schedule appointments, ask questions about their pet’s health, and to request new prescriptions.
These preferences don’t mean that all communication between a vet clinic and pet owners should take place by call. There are specific tasks that millennials would like to complete via text messaging.
Four instances when millennials prefer texting
Above, we noted that millennials like to schedule their appointments over the phone. This preference has to do with a number of factors, including the difficulty of finding schedule openings via text, getting all the necessary details for an appointment, and ensuring that secretaries have the necessary information for a smooth interaction. Significantly, however, millennials prefer that vet clinics provide reminders by text once they’ve scheduled an appointment.
Our data indicate that 57% of young pet owners would rather receive a text than a call for appointment reminders. Additionally, 86% of this same demographic wants to receive an appointment reminder by text regardless of whether or not they’ve already received a call. Clearly, text reminders are an important communication asset for any vet clinic.
These appointment reminders via text aren’t merely an attempt to appeal to the younger crowd; they actually improve the efficiency of businesses. Appointment reminders display concern for clients. They also boost attendance by cutting down on inadvertent no-shows. By sending reminders by text instead of by calls, clinics save their office staff massive amounts of time.
Weave provides vet clinics with the tools to implement appointment reminders by text. Not only are these types of reminders made possible, they’re also shockingly easy to send out with tasks that can be set at the time the appointment is scheduled. Appointment reminders appeal to the preferences of millennials while optimizing your business’s communication network.
A problem in virtually any industry, overdue balances are something nobody wants to deal with, yet everyone has to. Veterinary clinics are no different. Many clinics are small businesses for whom each and every account brings revenue that’s vital for financial success.
There’s no comfortable way to bring up these overdue balances with clients. According to our data, 36% of millennials prefer to be notified of overdue balances by text. That’s more than any other means of communication.
Notifying clients of overdue balances by text has a few perks. These text notifications avoid the awkwardness of having to speak directly to clients about money owed. In addition, texts are generally more likely to be seen than messages relayed via voicemail or email, since millennials are notorious for not checking their inboxes. Finally, these overdue balance reminders save office staff time and energy in much the same way as appointment reminders.
Weave’s system allows these overdue balances to be sent out as automated texts. With the right program and little know-how, your clinic can upgrade to texting overdue balances. These texts can also be customized, softening the news of a required payment while maintaining rapport with loyal clients.
Yearly checkups are an essential part of good preventative healthcare, for humans and for pets. Currently, only 42% of millennials subscribe to wellness plans for their pets, although 92% of them are interested in these types of plans. Our data indicate that pet wellness plans have plenty of untapped market potential.
59% of millennials already subscribing to pet wellness plans want to be reminded of checkups via text. These texts improve attendance numbers and help with customer relationships in the same ways as appointment reminders. Their added benefit is ensuring that pets get the sort of preventative care that often helps to avert catastrophe.
Like appointment reminders and overdue balance notifications, millennials view checkup reminders as both acceptable and helpful.
81% of millennials want their vet to know them and their animals on a personal basis. This means vets should use the names of both pets and their owners while also remembering the health history of the animals they care for. These types of details can be included in customized texts.
Getting clients to their checkups is essential, but so is following up with them. 83% of millennial pet owners expect a follow up within 48 hours of a given appointment. Like other reminders, follow-ups are easily sent via text through Weave’s interface.
The final example of an instance when millennials want to receive texts instead of calls from their vet clinic is for prescription refills. Getting a quick text to refill prescriptions is a natural extension of robust preventative care for pets. Since millennials have shown a deep interest in wellness plans for their animals, it’s best to adopt communication practices that manifest serious preventative care.
In the case of prescription refills, 48% of young pet owners want to receive texts instead of calls. It’s hard enough to keep up with our own refills, let alone those of our favorite canine or feline. Sending a text for prescription refills helps keep clients informed and on their toes without seeming as intrusive as phone calls.
Another benefit of these types of reminders is avoiding panic texts from owners after hours or on the weekend. When millennials get prescription reminder text from your office, they’re more certain that their pet is getting optimal preventative care. And again, your office staff saves time by not having to make repeated calls to clients regarding prescription refills.
At this point, hopefully it’s clear that the younger generation of pet owners want a text option for reminders from their vet clinic. This demographic is constantly tethered to their smartphones, and giving them a text option can likewise keep them tethered to your business. Integrated communications, though they can initially seem overwhelming, are key to garnering and maintaining customer loyalty in the 21st century.
Appointment reminders via text not only cut down on no-shows, but they also make office staff more productive and energized. Reminders for overdue balances reduce tension between vet clinics and pet owners overpayments. Checkup reminders accomplish the mission of providing preventative care, an approach to veterinary practice with increasing traction and demand. Reminding pet owners about prescription refills keeps pets healthy or on the path to recovery.
Overall, nine out of ten customers want to engage with businesses via text. Most veterinarians don’t have the time or means to coordinate mass texting, so they rely on the usual lines of communication: calls, emails, and postcards. These methods are tried and true, but they don’t account for the changes in communication that have taken place in the last twenty years or so.
The research is very clear. Pet owners want to be able to communicate with their local vet clinic by text. In many cases, they actually prefer communicating via text.
To improve customer loyalty, office efficiency, and your own engagement with the practice of veterinary science, adding text messaging to your clinic’s communication network is a must. Contact Weave today to discover the necessity, simplicity, and functionality of our text messaging.