Dogs can’t wait to get through the front door of Chanhassen Veterinary Clinic in Chanhassen, Minn. For 12 years, the clinic has been throwing free puppy parties in its reception area. And month after month the team finds that when you correct unwanted puppy behavior with a reward-based approach, you build long-lasting family bonds, and in the process, pets’ bonds with the practice and with other pets. “Puppies literally come running into the clinic looking for their party pals,” says Dr. Deanne McCabe, one of three practice owners.
Hiring a practice manager can boost productivity, staff satisfaction, and practice revenue. Just ask Dr. Gail Mason, MA, Dipl. ACVIM, co-owner of Bath-Brunswick Veterinary Associates in Brunswick, Maine. She and co-owner Dr. Mark Mason, MS, Dipl. ABVP, have saved 15 hours a week combined since they hired practice manager Perian Phillips seven years ago. Between the two specialists, the practice can schedule four additional 45-minute referral appointments per day.
“Kidney disease is the No. 1 disease I diagnose,” says Dr. Arnold Plotnick, DABVP, DACVIM, owner of Manhattan Cat Specialists in New York. “And cats with kidney disease that eat appropriate diets live longer.” The key, he says, is for clients to try each of the available diets until he or she finds one the pet will accept.
Dr. Robert Esplin's client knew the value of the canine blood bank when he rushed his dog to Sylvania Veterinary Hospital in Sylvania, Ohio. The twist: the dog being rushed to the hospital was called in to donate blood to another dog in need.
“Phone scripts help receptionists educate new clients before they enter the practice,” says Tracy Dowdy, CVPM, a consultant in Dallas. In her consulting work, Dowdy introduces phone scripts that emphasize the value of basic services into practices across the country.
Few pets miss their regular test or get behind on their medications at Lost Mountain Animal Hospital in Marietta, Ga. That's because office manager Debi Cook sends out reminders to clients to make appointments for procedures, tests, and medications, such as T4 levels and phenobarbital screens every six months, heartworm medication every year, and regular dentals.