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Issue: 66 - Jun 15, 2014
Well Done is Better Than Well Said
By: Kristel Ewald, Marketing Specialist
VetPressOnline

You don’t earn loyalty in a day.  You earn loyalty day-by-day.  It is a well-known fact that customers are becoming more demanding and have more options to choose from than ever before.   While expanding your customer base is an essential undertaking, the importance of retaining current customers must not be overlooked.  Customer loyalty is critical to your success and can be achieved by enhancing your customer relationships.

Loyal customers are key to a successful practice.  Retaining customers is less expensive than acquiring new ones and managing your customers’ experience is the most cost-effective way to drive customer satisfaction, customer retention and customer loyalty.  Not only do loyal customers ensure sales, but they’re also more likely to purchase ancillary products and services.  Free advertising is another significant benefit of loyal customers.  Customers who are pleased with your service are likely to recommend your practice to their family and friends. 

Building customer loyalty is not something that happens overnight.  To reap the benefits you must work at it every day and it starts with enhancing your customer relationships.  As a veterinarian, the more you communicate with your customers, the stronger the relationship will be.  It’s important that you make yourself a reliable source for pet health news.  Provide your customers with a steady stream of information that they can use to improve the health of their pet.  With summer fast approaching, you will want to educate your clients about the importance of flea, tick and heartworm prevention.  Many pet owners are unaware of the serious medical issues that can arise when they choose to forego testing and preventative measures.  The more informed your customers are about prevention, the more likely they are to purchase additional services/products which will increase your overall revenue.  In addition to prevention, there are other educational campaigns you can promote throughout the year such as dental health, senior wellness and proper nutrition. 

In addition to education, it’s important that you build a rapport with your customers.  Relationships are important in business and are the easiest way to create customer loyalty.  It’s important to understand that people are influenced by their emotions.  Customers are loyal because they are emotionally attached.  They remember how they feel when they use a product or service.  More importantly, they will continue to buy over the long term from those they have an emotional connection with. As a veterinarian, it’s important to reach out to your customers in a non-promotional way that lets them know you care about their pet and their business.  Pet birthday cards, welcome to the practice cards, sympathy cards, thank you cards and holiday cards are all easy and effective ways for you to connect with your customers and build loyalty. 

One of the most effective ways to reach out to your customers is with direct mail.  Direct mail puts your message straight into the hands of your customers and encourages interaction. Unlike email, it can’t be deleted and sends a more personal message.  Services such as *VetPressOnline can assist you with your direct mailings to help build your customer relationships.  Whether you’re educating your customers about the importance of prevention or welcoming a new patient to the practice, sending a personalized postcard will help your customers connect with your practice on a more personal level.

In a market with increasing competition, building strong customer relationships is crucial to the success of your practice.  As stated before, you don’t earn loyalty in a day.  You earn loyalty day by day.  By educating your customers and connecting with them on a personal level, you will enhance the health of your patients and practice.

*VetPressOnline is an easy-to-use, web based service designed to help you create an effective mailing that will produce big results.  The service provides the tools and the guidance needed to use direct mail effectively and affordably.  For more information call (866) 212-2502 or visit our website at www.VetPressOnline.com