MWI Animal Health
Millennial and Gen Z pet owners currently make up the majority of veterinary practice clients, with millennials coming in at 32% and Gen Z at 14%.1 These groups will comprise even more of the pet-owning population as more of them reach adulthood during the next few years. Millennial and Gen Z clients are digital natives, and reaching them is critical to sustaining your veterinary practice. One of the best ways to reach these pet owners is through a practice app.
This article is sponsored by MWI Animal Health.
By implementing a practice app, you help establish client loyalty while boosting compliance and efficiency. Communicating through an app ensures your message reaches your intended audience, can level the playing field for independent practices competing with resource-heavy conglomerates, and can improve understaffed, overscheduled veterinary teams’ workflow.
You can customize your app to your brand by using your logo and signature colors. Your practice app serves your clients in multiple ways, including enabling and simplifying the following:
- To-do lists and medication administration reminders
- Appointment requests
- Prescription refill requests
- Shareable pet ID and contact information
- Client information updates
Change is never easy, and many practices are hesitant to jump into new technology that could reduce productivity during the training and transition processes. However, using outdated communication modes may be taking more of your team’s time than you realize. To encourage you to take the leap, we answer commonly asked questions about client apps.
Will a Client-Facing App Create More Work for Our Veterinary Team Members?
When time is a precious commodity, you don’t want anything taking up more of it than necessary. A client-facing practice app can automate tasks, such as appointment scheduling and prescription refills, and free up your front desk team for more important matters. You can save additional time during app implementation by choosing a preconfigured and easy-to-learn option, such as AllyDVM’s PetPage Portal, and by inviting clients to sign up through their personal device’s app store.
Will an App Compromise Our Veterinary Team’s Workflow?
Many practice leaders are concerned that putting apps in clients’ hands will cause them to lose control of the workflow. A client-facing app does not compromise workflow because the technology offers solutions to streamline daily operations by automating tasks your team members already do, such as updating client information or scheduling appointments. An app creates efficiency and keeps your practice technologically competitive.
Do Veterinary Clients Want to Use an App?
Tech-savvy generations make up 46% of pet owners, and this percentage is expected to grow. Setting up an app now helps you stay ahead of your clients’ growing demand for a digitally connected practice. An app allows clients to stay engaged and complete tasks on their own time, including to-do’s and requests. Clients also appreciate having instant access to their pet’s most important information, including rabies tag numbers, microchip IDs, and vaccination schedules.
Why Should Our Veterinary Clinic Team Members Spend Time Setting Up an App?
The time spent setting up an app will reap dividends in the years to come. The benefits of a veterinary practice app include:
- Improved compliance with easy-to-see upcoming appointments
- Improved retention through built-in client loyalty programs
- Better client communication through updates and announcements
- A competitive edge over other practices by meeting digital clients’ expectations
- No more lost postcards or bounced emails, since clients update their own information
Do Client-Facing Apps Communicate With Our Practice Information Management System?
A disconnected app can end up taking more of your staff’s time than it saves, so you’ll want to choose one that syncs with your practice information management system (PIMS). Integrated apps can invite clients to sign up automatically and eliminate your team members having to manually enter data for tasks such as appointment scheduling, viewing a pet’s history, and requesting prescription refills. On the other hand, a disconnected app forces team members to toggle back and forth between windows, which reduces efficiency and often leads to errors.
Can an App Secure My Veterinary Clients’ Data?
Veterinary practice leaders should add apps and technology they have confirmed will keep their practice and client data secure. Choose an app that offers a clear data policy based on the principle that your data belong to you. Look for language that stipulates the app will not restrict how you use your data, will never sell, rent, or disclose information to unauthorized third parties, and pulls data directly from your PIMS without involving a third party.
How Do I Help Veterinary Clients Understand Our Practice App’s Value?
Gaining client buy-in starts with communicating to them about your practice app’s value and emphasizing how using the app can improve their experience. To encourage clients to use your veterinary practice app, emphasize these benefits:
- Efficient digital access to printable health records and information.
- Appointment requests, prescription refills, and information updates available around-the-clock.
- Push notifications for important to-do list items, such as medications.
- Rewards earned through app-based loyalty programs.
- Updates and announcements sent directly to clients’ devices.
- Access to practice, pharmacy, and emergency information.
A client-facing app is a win-win for your veterinary practice and clients, putting them at the forefront of their pet’s health and helping them stay connected with you—a veterinarian they trust. By offering an app, your practice can help your team members feel less overwhelmed and empowered to focus on the important task of improving their pets’ health and quality of life.
See how an app can benefit your practice.
- Kerwin, N. APPA releases generational report on pet ownership, purchasing trends. Pet Food Processing. March 29, 2022. Accessed November 16, 2023. https://www.petfoodprocessing.net/articles/15660-appa-releases-generational-report-on-pet-ownership-purchasing-trends.