While some time off during the holidays is amazing, it comes with the downside of being sure to update phones, emails, apps and social channels so that clients aren’t surprised to find a locked door and empty building, especially if their pet is having an emergency.
Let’s cover some of the ways you can help inform your clients-- and avoid that last minute rush for that 360 count prescription refill.
Before we begin, a huge shout out to the teams that DON’T get to change their hours. To the vets, techs and support team working urgent care and emergency on holidays and every day-- thank you. Your hard work does not go unnoticed by your colleagues!
While every clinic has a different list of places and platforms to take care of, the good news is that many of these updates are small, quick and can be done long in advance. Here are some of the top changes to make:
Login, click the “Info” tab on the left right, and click on the pencil to edit the “special hours” just below your regular hours. If you know you’ll be closed for the major holidays, you can verify these dates or add your own (think about New Years Eve, New Years Day, Memorial Day, Fourth of July, Labor Day, Thanksgiving, and Christmas as common closures).
Click here for the official how-to from Google.
Login and visit the Business Information, then click on Edit next to ‘Upcoming Special Hours” to verify hours for common holidays or add your own special days.
Please make a note of our upcoming holiday hours! If your pet is running low on any of their prescription meds or food, please plan accordingly and we are happy to make sure you have a full supply before our office is closed.
To request a refill, visit: www.yourveterinarypractice.com/refills (or call 555-5555 or email email@example.com, or use the app, etc).
If your pet should need emergency care over the holiday, please contact:
Emergency Hospital 1: 555-5555 (ideally tag the hospital’s page)
Emergency Hospital 2: 555-5555 (ideally tag the hospital’s page)
For non-urgent appointment requests, refill requests or questions, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org and we will respond within 24 business hours of our reopening on INSERT DAY, DATE AND TIME your practice will reopen.
As always, we wish you and your two- and four-legged families a safe and happy holiday!
I hope this saves you a few minutes of time as you prepare your hospital and team for a busy holiday. Take your time off to rest and recharge!
-Caitlin DeWilde, DVM
We all spend a lot of time worrying about that one negative review- how to respond to it, how it will look to clients, the stress it will inflict on us and our teams. While that concern is valid and we do need a strategy for handling negative reviews, we need to put a similar emphasis on building that library of POSITIVE reviews. Think how much stronger our reputation could be if we spent the same amount of energy eliciting positive feedback from those who do support us and will likely continue to visit and advocate for our practice!
Positive reviews are just that- positive all the way around. Not only do they help bolster our reputation and earn client trust, but they can help us attract new clients, reinforce our ideals and give us feedback on what’s working well. They can brighten our spirits and help our teams remember why we do what we do. So why are we not trying to get that information? Here are my four tips to getting more reviews.
#1 Make It EASY!
We can’t assume that our clients know that we’re on Facebook. Or Google. Or Yelp. Or that we even want reviews. We need to make it as easy as possible for our clients to GET to our review sites and as easy as possible to leave a review. Here are a few tips to make it easy for both your clients AND for you to access your reviews.
Be careful not to offer incentives for reviews, or overtly tell clients that you need more reviews. This can violate the terms of service of some platforms, especially Yelp. Leave the trail of breadcrumbs so they are prompted to and can easily share their experience.
#3 Don’t Forget About the Visual Reminders
Don’t forget about the power of a visual image. Here are some ways that simply providing signage in your hospital can increase client awareness about your review sites.
I’m a big believer in practices having a social media/digital “team.”
A team approach:
Let’s focus on that last bit for a second. When I say “safer,” I’m not just talking about protecting it from a disgruntled employee. I’m also talking about, ya know, that thing I do like three times a week, which is forgetting a password or getting locked out of an account.
To be fair, the first possibility is also just that- a possibility. Having multiple admins means that if someone does leave, on good terms or not, the practice won’t suffer and can still access their accounts without that awkward transition.
I think this is particularly important for practice owners who often don’t actually manage their accounts day-to-day. Even if you have no intention of ever logging into your Facebook, Yelp, or other accounts- it is THE online representation of your business, and you should own it the same way you own your client list, blood work machines or inventory.
So? How do you do that?
I’ve rounded up the “how to’s” for all accounts that allow multiple admin or manager roles.
For the accounts that don’t yet offer this feature but still need multiple people to access (looking at you, Instagram and Nextdoor), I would recommend using a password manager like Last Pass owned by the practice owner.
Happy account securing!
Caitlin DeWilde, DVM