Prepared to keep caring in uncertain times
As the situation with Covid-19 (Coronavirus) continues to evolve, it may feel like a roller coaster as you work to add precautionary measures and stretch resources for care. Many of you are reducing the risk of exposure by limiting the number of clients in your waiting rooms or implementing curbside check-ins. Some of you have introduced or expanded video conferencing, virtual visits and telemedicine as a way to offer care while keeping clients and team members safe.
In this environment of safe distancing and new ways of working, collecting payment raises additional concerns. What are convenient ways to streamline payment for your clients and hospital? What options make sense at a time like this? How do you keep people, patients, and your practice safe and healthy?
Many pet owners are likely to face financial difficulties and may have added concerns about cost in the coming weeks and months. They may be looking for ways to fit their pet’s care into their monthly budgets. As one study found, more than half of owners say their pets’ needs are as important as their own.1 Your clients count on you to help them keep their pets as healthy as possible, no matter what life brings.
Providing convenient payment options for clients can make a difference, particularly when they’re easy to apply for and use. Veterinary practices are turning to digital payment solutions that allow clients to pay directly on mobile devices with no person-to-person contact. If your hospital is temporarily closed or operating on a limited basis, the ability to accept online or mobile payments can also help maximize social distancing protocols and make payment easier for everyone.
A sense of being prepared is a good feeling, especially in uncertain times. In fact, 57% of survey respondents viewed veterinary care as an absolute necessity.2 So along with communicating details about your practice’s hours and services in the months ahead, it can be equally important to let your clients know your practice has payment solutions available. It doesn’t take a lot of time to include a special note about the payment options you offer on your website or in your social media, and it can make a greater impact than you think.
Coronavirus has forced changes, challenges, and unprecedented demands on veterinary practices, as well as pet owners facing worries about how to keep up with their pet’s care and their budget. Now, more than ever, the medical expertise and solutions you and your team provide are not only needed for your patients, they’re also supporting the well-being of families. And your dedication is appreciated!
By Louise S. Dunn, Founder & CEO, Snowgoose Veterinary Management Consulting
1Pathways: The Pet Owner Journey, Market Insights, ASQ360o Market Research, Oct. 2019.
2Access to Veterinary Care: Barriers, Current Practices and Public Policy, Access to Veterinary Care Coalition, December 2018.