How Your Veterinary Emergency Practice Can Survive During the Coronavirus StormReading Time: 3 minutes
During the 2008 recession, there were many businesses that crumbled, yet there were many that survived and even thrived. In some cases, the product or service they were offering was an unplanned gift to their success such as Domino’s, Netflix and Redbox, AutoZone and O’Reilly. It makes sense that those companies would do well when times got tough. But there were others that just got smart and walked head-on into the storm, such as Lego (they expanded into the global market) and Career Education Corporation (by promoting their educational services so consumers would be well prepared for new jobs when the recession was over). But these successes don’t just “happen.” These companies made a proactive decision to invest in marketing while many of their competitors retreated, often afraid to take any risks. Most companies that promoted strength, availability, service, etc., survived and even thrived during a downturn.
We want you to do the same.
As an emergency resource for your community’s pets, you have an opportunity to be the lighthouse in the storm. Here are our top marketing recommendations:
- Update your website’s Home page immediately so the public knows you are open (or list hours if not 24/7)
- Update your on-hold message to include current awareness, reassurance, and availability.
- Have forms available online for pet parents to complete/submit or print prior to arrival (if possible).
- Communicate your availability every day via social media.
- Let the community know that you are taking this pandemic seriously, and discuss the measures you are taking to ensure safety:
- Meet your client in the parking lot instead of having them come in. Have them call you upon arrival.
- Have extra leashes, collars, carriers on hand to transfer a pet from the car into your clinic.
- Limit the number of people and distance of pet parents in your waiting room.
- Develop creative ways to help pet owners get the care they need. For instance, a few tips we’ve picked up along the way include:
- Offer drive up exams
- Offer telehealth services to active clients
- Offer a daily or weekly Live Facebook broadcast Q & A session
- Send emails with credible information about COVID-19 and pets (link provided by Dr. Caleb Frankel of Instinct, written by Scott Weese). Here is one from PetMD.com.
- We are not believers in discounting services, but we do believe in a “value add” meaning include additional products or services at a reduced rate or free (bag of food, promo item, free nail trim, etc.). Being of exceptional service during this time will help you stand out from the rest.
This is not the time to be under the radar about your services. Shout it from the rooftops and be the voice of reason. Confidence and calmness are contagious. And yes, you can have both.
We can help you.
BluePrints has been a virtual agency for over three years. We have a team of veterinary marketing and communication experts on deck to help you with any traditional or digital strategies and tactics. Please do not hesitate to reach out if we may be of assistance. Call 949-756-8071 or email email@example.com.
Robin Brogdon, MA Linda Kaplan, MHA