Getting to know the path to care can help bring more clients your way

Understanding the steps consumers take on their journey to pet care can help veterinary teams provide the information pet parents need to move forward. According to the Path to Care study,1 they spend more time researching payment information than they do researching pet care provider information.

The study found that more than half of pet owners (52%) conduct research when seeking veterinary care for their pets. Of those who do, here’s what they focus on:

  • 61% research costs and fees.
  • 40% research the provider’s office.
  • 34% research possible providers.

The study also asked pet owners how important each of the factors below are when selecting a pet care provider. Once again, payment was at the top of the list:

  • 59% of pet owners say it’s important their pet care provider offers a variety of payment options.
  • 52% say financing is important when choosing a pet care provider.
  • 33% say it’s important that their provider accept contactless, digital payment.

So, what does this mean for your practice? To capture the attention of pet owners who may be researching care in your area—including your practice—make sure information about your payment options is readily available, as well as details on how and where they can pay. Consider these tactics:

  • List the payment options you offer on your website.
  • Communicate your digital ways to pay, such as online payment portals, apps or contactless payment on their mobile device.
  • Include financial information in new client outreach materials.
  • Use your social media channels to proactively communicate that you have budget-friendly solutions such as financing.
  • Share payment options when pet owners call to inquire about your practice or make an appointment—whether they ask or not.

Don’t forget—money can evoke strong emotions and paying for care is often stressful for clients. In the Path to Care study, many participants described their experience paying for pet care using words like “overwhelmed,” “anxious” and “frustrated.” Just 35% of those who paid for veterinary care within the past 12 months said their experience with payment was positive overall.

Interestingly, the study showed that paying with CareCredit can change how clients feel. They used words like “relieved” and “confident” to describe their emotions when paying for pet care, and 80% of those who paid for veterinary care within the past 12 months had an overall positive payment experience. In fact, 82% agreed that a pet care credit card enables cardholders to be responsive to their pet’s needs and not delay care.

When you understand the steps clients take on their path to care, you can be more effective in leading them to your practice. Payment options, financial transparency and a financing solution all help create a positive experience for your clients—and help your patients get the care they need.

For more study highlights, download the Path to Care Infographic at carecredit.com/vetinsights.

1CareCredit Path to Care, Pet Care Findings, conducted by Chadwick Martin Bailey on behalf of CareCredit, October 2021.

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