After a really crazy, exhausting day yesterday I'm glad I got to do it all....in scrubs. During my pregnancy, I kind of gave up on the white coat/business attire, etc. I know, I know, there are studies that show that a more professional attire can increase our client's trust and therefore buy-in of our recommendations, but I've never been a fan. Plus, white coats in a veterinary clinic? Between the anal glands, blood and the inevitable coffee I spill on myself....it just doesn't work for me. I also have been working toward my Fear Free certification, which is giving us an even better reason to forego the white coats-- they scare our patients!
Needless to say, I've transitioned to wearing scrubs every day in my clinic. I can move around easier, I'm not adding that dimension of anxiety for my patients, and frankly, it's quicker for me to get dressed in the morning without putting together an ensemble of business attire and coordinating accessories.
Landau is one of my go-to brands, and I recently got to try their new line, All Day. I got a pair in navy blue, and I'm hooked. The fabric is a little on the thicker side, meaning they'll be sturdy enough to resist damage from dog toenails and me crawling around with my patients on the exam room floor. The top was the standard V-neck with two bottom pockets and separate pen pocket. The pants were what sold me though, since they're the perfect length for me just shy of 5'9". I have a hard time finding pants that are long enough for me, but tall sizes are often too long. These were a great length and slight flare at the bottom. My favorite part is the drawstring, which had a gel striping for grip so they won't untie as easily (for some reason I've had that problem in the past).
You can check them out at http://bit.ly/2ujb69P. Let me know what you think and what your favorite scrubs are!
Keeping track of all of your clinic's social media channels, notifications, progress and activity is a tough job. It can take a fair amount of time to log in and check all of your pages, and sometimes the text, email or in-app notifications can get lost in the fray (or annoy the heck out of you with their constant appearance).
However, keeping a close eye on your online reputation is key to avoiding problems and growing a loyal clientele. Therefore, it's important to do, no matter how tedious. I've tried out lots of different methods, services and strategies. While there isn't a universally perfect answer for each practice, the Perch app is about as close as it gets.
The Perch app, which is free on both iOS and Android devices, is designed specifically for small businesses. It's not specific to the veterinary industry, so the information you'll find on their website is more generalized. However, I've been using it for about three months with my personal practice as well as testing it for a few other clinics as well.
Perch keeps track of Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Yelp and Google traffic. It actually even tracks Foursquare but I honestly didn't know that was still a thing. With one click to open the app, I can immediately see my total audience (number of followers on all channels), my engagement (how many likes, comments, shares, retweets), and my "chatter" (the number of Facebook checkins or Instagram tagged photos), over the previous 14 days.
Highlighted Successes & Reviews
Scrolling down to additional features of the app, I can actually see our recent Facebook, Twitter and Instagram posts in one place. If one of them is doing well, it will be highlighted with a "popular photo" banner so that might be a post I would consider boosting or trying to replicate. New reviews also appear in this area.
Though optional, you can also elect to monitor other businesses in your area, and a small summary of their social activity will appear in your feed as well.
You can enable either daily or weekly emailed reports. The report (I went with the daily digest), shows all the posts we made over the last day, and also shows me any reviews made by "businesses I watch." This is kind of helpful to keep an eye on your competition, if you're into that :-)
In some ways, I've found it to be even better than the platform stats and notifications themselves. For instance, I've been finding all of the Instagram photos our practice has been tagged in easier on Perch than I have been able to track them down in the Instagram app, depending on if they tagged us or our actual location, etc. I also got an email notification BEFORE my Google notification came in for a new review of our hospital on Google.
As can be expected, it sounds a little too good to be true, right? Well, they do offer a paid level called the "Step Up Series," a monthly personalized guide and reports that tell you what you're doing well, and what your business could improve on. At $10/month or $90/year, that's honestly not too bad either. However, I've haven't sprung for this level yet, and I've been able to make some of these determinations based solely on the information I've gleaned from the free version.
All in all, Perch seems like a great way to quickly keep an eye on your clinic's social media/online review presence. It's quick, convenient and free. For those of you who struggle to keep up with regular monitoring, I'd recommend you give this a try. If it works for you, I'd love to hear about it!
--Caitlin DeWilde, DVM
The holiday weekend is almost upon us! Make sure your clinic is ready with these tips:
-Caitlin DeWilde, DVM