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Why Clients Will Pay For Telehealth

Strong Client Relationships Pay Off

Telehealth interactions done well can leave pet owners feeling valued and that their pets’ well-being is truly the focus of your practice. This influences client loyalty, which returns significant value through client retention for your practice.

You Are Worth It

Your medical knowledge is valuable no matter whether delivered in person or through telehealth. Pet owners today have access to a nearly infinite amount of information via the internet, but they desire and are willing to pay for reliable, personalized guidance from their veterinarian. You have the advantage of knowing the client and the pet, and this relationship, coupled with medical advice they can trust because of your training and experience, is worth paying for.

The Benefits of Loyalty

Being available to your clients outside of the practice walls in their time of need can increase their loyalty to you and drive a positive sequence of events:

  • Having more touchpoints and communication builds trust.
  • Clients who trust you are more likely to approve your recommendations, saving time and potentially leading to faster interventions.
  • Clients who trust you may comply with treatment recommendations for better outcomes.
  • Client retention improves when they trust you and can access your knowledge and compassion.

Consider this situation that typifies communications a practice might receive from a client:

I first noticed a raised, red sore on my cat’s thigh two weeks ago after a recent vaccine appointment. It started getting smaller and looked less inflamed, but tonight, it looks bigger and angrier than it did when I first saw it. He doesn’t seem to be in pain, but he is licking it a lot. I was wondering if there is an email I could send pictures to in order to avoid an in-person appointment. If it does need to be biopsied or to be examined in person, I will make an appointment, but he gets really nervous when he has to go in his carrier, so I’d prefer to avoid that unless it’s necessary.

Until recently, such a client would only have had one option: to bring their pet to the clinic for an assessment. This client, however, can now be seen via a telemedicine appointment with the veterinarian and be provided with the facts needed to make the best decision for their cat. The appointment can also reinforce the veterinarian’s authority as the trusted source of information for the client to turn to first in the future. Furthermore, the veterinarian can be compensated for the services.

Boehringer Ingelheim Animal Health USA Inc., CareCredit, and Merck Animal Health have supported the development of the 2021 AAHA/AVMA Telehealth Guidelines for Small-Animal Practice and resources through an educational grant to AAHA.