A client was telling me about a vet he worked with in Europe recently. The vet claimed that he and his partner decided to be open every day of the year as a way to grow their practice. They would not charge emergency fees in the hope that people would use them because they were available and would not charge extra for emergency work. This included Christmas, Easter and all the other major holidays.
What was the result of this strategy? Not one new client because of this service over several years.
From the view of their colleagues this goes to prove that the relationships we have with our clients can be very strong. It seems it would take extreme measure for us to lose a client. As long as we treat them well and offer excellent veterinary care they should stick around. The only reason vets lose clients is if they don’t perform these two services or if another vet offers a unique service.  With the recent recession some clients have begun to price shop but this is an extreme situation. I always tell our new associates that I respect a client that wants to stay with their vet over us because they demonstrate loyalty. If we are lucky to get them in the future it won’t be because we are cheaper. It may be because we offer a higher standard of medicine or client care or a service the other veterinarian did not.
And the veterinarians at the beginning? They now charge a hefty fee for emergency work.
Price does not always dictate if a client uses a veterinarian or not.

  1. Dr. Pownall,

    It is great to have an equine business blog available to our profession. I look forward to reading your comments and ideas to help our practice grow.

    Customer loyalty and understanding customer buying behavior is the key to developing a practice's marketing strategy and crucial in establishing your fee structure.

    Best of luck on your new blog!!

    Bob Magnus, DVM, MBA

  2. Hopefully they know what is better to do. People ar eoften too in rush when deciding things.

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