Creating a resourceful veterinary medicine home delivery program
MWI Animal Health
Success starts with empowering clinic staff
Implementing a veterinary medicine home delivery service is beneficial not only to veterinary practices but to their clients as well. Home delivery programs can help veterinarians get more competitive, attract new clients, and improve pets' health by increasing medical compliance. But getting your new program off the ground isn't possible without buy-in from your staff. Here's a look at how you can empower your veterinary staff and get them excited about your new delivery service, helping to ensure the program is successful.
Veterinary medicine home delivery programs are vital to practice revenue Pet spending is on the rise and launching a home delivery service can help you take advantage of this trend. From 2013 to 2018 alone, three times the number of households began buying pet products online.
A 2021 Packaged Facts survey found that 34 percent of pet shoppers had changed where they shop for products, with online sales accounting for at least 16 percent of pet medication sales in 2020 — and growing. Add to that the fact that pet medication sales in 2020 accounted for 23 percent of a clinic's revenue, and you'll better understand how important it is to keep up with technological changes in the pet sales market.
The good news is that the Packaged Facts 2021 survey also revealed that veterinarians remain a top source for both prescription and over-the-counter pet medication sales. But in order to keep these sales, you'll need to evolve with the times. If your practice doesn't implement both an online e-commerce store and a veterinary medicine home delivery service, you may find yourself losing customers and much-needed revenue in the long term.
Communicate how the delivery program will help staff A key part of getting your staff on board when you implement any new program is educating them on how the service will help them personally. Employees might hesitate about change if they think it will just add to their workload or complicate their lives. But if they know how it will help them in the long run, then they'll be more likely to buy into it.
Explain to your staff that a veterinary medicine home delivery program will ultimately decrease their workload. Although there will be a transition phase while your clients are learning about the service, your staff will not have to keep up with as many medication reminders in the long run. A robust home delivery service will help your staff spend less time on inventory management. The service will also cut down on the end-of-day rush when clients stop by to pick up medications at the same time that others are picking up their pets from surgery.
To help ease your staff's anxiety, create a detailed step-by-step plan on how to implement the delivery service, including its deadlines and expectations. Then initiate an open-door policy, assuring your staff that you want to hear their concerns. Be sure to proactively reach out to them too, asking if they have any questions about how the new program is going to work.
Empower staff to promote veterinary medicine home delivery to pet parents After your staff has learned about how the program works, they should feel confident talking about it with clients. Encourage them to discuss home delivery systems when clients are checking out after a visit. When pet owners are asking for a refill on their flea medication, for example, your staff can let them know that your new delivery program can automate the process.
You'll also want to educate your staff on how to communicate with clients digitally about the new delivery service and give them specific tasks for doing so. This can include a series of social media posts about the advantages of home delivery or a client communications platform to educate pet parents. Look for platforms that make your staff's workload easier, such as one that utilizes a variety of messaging options like email, text, postcards, and follow-up surveys.
Remember: It's important to stay proactive when reaching out to your clients because so many other companies are reaching out to them too. Because your clients already trust you, they are likely to stick with you if you offer conveniences that match those your competitors do.
Curious about implementing a home delivery program in your practice?
Learn more about how the Vetsource® delivery program works