Strengthening your reminders for better client compliance
by Wendy S. Myers and Kathy Johnson, CVT, Communication Solutions for Veterinarians
Improving compliance means healthier horses and satisfied customers. To increase client compliance for good equine health care services, implement a three-tiered reminder system.
Mail the first reminder postcard 3 weeks before the due date for the horse’s healthcare services. Then mail a second reminder postcard with an urgent message 2 weeks after the horse is past due. If the client still has not booked an appointment, have a receptionist call the client for a third reminder phone call 3 weeks after the due date to set up an appointment. She might say, “Wendy, this is Susan calling for Dr. Smith at Smith Equine Services. We are worried that Ollie is past due for his exam and vaccines and is now unprotected. Will you please call our office at 720-555-5555?”
Personal phone calls can identify clients who moved or just need an extra nudge to make an appointment. The 2003 AAHA compliance study found 78% of clients surveyed wanted to be called about overdue vaccines and medication but only 52% actually received a call.
To even out your appointment book and avoid “emergency vaccination and Coggin's” calls, mail reminders weekly rather than monthly.
For example, on March 5 you would:
- Mail 1st reminders to those whose services will be due between March 26 and 31
- Mail 2nd reminders to those that are past due for the dates of February 19 to 25
- Make 3rd reminder phone calls to clients whose horses are past due for services from February 12 to 18
According to a Veterinary Economics’ study, companion animal practices typically receive a 60% response rate to 1st reminder postcards and 70% to phone calls. Your veterinary software system may also allow you to send reminders via e-mail, so be sure to ask your clients if they would like to receive reminders for services by regular mail or e-mail.
Kathy Johnson, CVT, Consultant
Communication Solutions for Veterinarians
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