Whether it’s at home or in the office, we know that communication can make or break important relationships. Solid communication leads to both trust and transparency, allowing you to enhance your connections and grow a network of strong, confident relationships.
With over 90% of adults in America utilizing cell phones (a statistic that is also rising), I think it’s a perfect time to address the benefits of text message communication when it comes to contacting pet owners. Leveraging this technology now puts you a step ahead of the curve, allowing you to send friendly updates and messages to a pet owner that may be curious about how their pet is doing, or may have simply forgotten about an appointment. The beauty of the text-message feature is that you can customize and control your messages at all times and communicate with any pet owner in mere seconds.
I recommend utilizing one-way text messages with pet owners, because this approach has some distinct advantages over two-way texting that is more commonly used when engaging with friends and casual colleagues. There are a variety of reasons that go into this recommendation, but the predominant reason is because two-way text messages open you up to non-stop communication, a whole host of follow-up expectations and perhaps most importantly, potential legal repercussions. Instead, one-way text messages allow you to dictate the content and tone of communication, insulating you from additional liability while still giving you the benefits of instantaneous communication.
If you’re interested in getting started with a text message service for your veterinary practice, I recommend using free tools such as textport.com, or purchasing a cell phone line (which typically will run you less than $12 per month), effectively skipping out on the extra phone but using the extra number. Once using the extra line, you can download the texting app for that specific carrier that work specifically with your mobile device (whether it’s iOS, Android or other) and program effective auto-reply statements such as the following:
This is an unmonitored number; Please call our practice directly at (xxx) xxx-xxxx
This allows you to send a particular pet owner in the right direction, without assuming the liability of the two-way text message. You can also easily set auto-reply messages and keep track of any messages that you’ve sent out.
I recommend sending pet owners simple and concisely constructed text messages whenever a pet is dropped off for surgery, a procedure or appointment, as well as boarding or grooming services. Even just a simple text message can help you to alleviate any potential worry from a pet owner, and demonstrates your accountability and care in one fell swoop. Something simple, yet compassionate will do:
Hi Mr. Garcia! Elvis is doing great and is recovering from his procedure. We will call you shortly!
Thanks to rapidly accelerating forms of technology, text messages can be sent to any type of mobile device, and even the new Apple Watch (or any wearable technology)!
Even a brief text message can go a surprisingly long way when it comes to building a steadfast bond with a pet owner. Not only are you adapting to new technology, but you are going above and beyond to stay in touch and alleviate any possible concerns that could crop up along the way. This is a significant way to differentiate yourself from competitors, cut down on extra calls from pet owners wanting updates, and show that you’re truly committed to every step of the client experience at your practice.