Don’t get distracted by vanity metrics

These days, veterinary consultants inundate practice managers with their ideas on how to grow their hospitals and see more pets. While some offer great ideas, others are merely distracting you from what’s really important.

Many tell you to focus on what amount to “vanity metrics,” numbers that seem impressive but that don’t actually tell you much about the success of your hospital. One of the most common numbers people tell you to look at is new client growth. While your number of new clients can be an indication of successful marketing initiatives and growth, it doesn’t account for clients that have left your practice, too. You get a clearer, fuller picture from looking at net client growth—your number of new clients minus your lost clients. This also encourages you to focus marketing energy on your current clients.

Another metric many consultants tell you to focus on is your website visits. Again, this number can give you an idea of your marketing programs’ success, as you can see a jump (or plateau or decline) in website traffic. However, this number says nothing about how many clients actually made appointments and received services from your veterinary hospital. Instead of website visits, focus on call tracking. By placing separate call tracking numbers on every marketing initiative you implement, you know exactly which piece of marketing led the client to call you. Then, you can track the success of each marketing piece, including your website, and you know whether or not potential clients called you and scheduled appointments.

The final metric you should focus on is your net promoter score. A net promoter score measures how likely your current clients are to recommend your veterinary hospital and your services to people they know. This tells you your clients’ satisfaction with your veterinary hospital and gauges their loyalty to you. The quizzes used to obtain these numbers are dynamic ways to gain insights from your clients. When a client gives you a low score, they’re asked to give you specific reasons why they aren’t pleased. When a client gives you a high score, they’re asked to tell you why they enjoy your practice. This is crucial information that allows you to adjust your practice based on what is (and isn’t) working for your clients.

Most importantly, make sure the metrics you’re paying attention to are actually helping you understand your practice. Otherwise, you’re just wasting your time—and you’re not growing your hospital!

MWI Animal Health is the distributor of choice of the AAHA association.  MWI proudly serves the membership with broad product access, exclusive programs and educational support such as this article. 

Content provided by MWI Animal Health featuring Partner Service, IVET'360's Justin Vandeberghe. Justin Vandeberghe is managing director of marketing at iVET360, which he co-founded in 2013. Under his leadership, iVET360 has developed veterinary marketing initiatives that reach millions of people each year. iVET360 provides private practice, primary-care veterinary hospitals with management services, including staff development trainings, marketing campaigns and financial, operational and customer care analytics. In addition to 17 percent growth in revenue, iVET360’s clients saw a 24 percent increase in new client growth on average in 2015.


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