Warm weather is finally here – and, as much as we love this, it results in new challenges for us at work:

  • Ticks
  • Fleas
  • Grass/pollen allergies
  • Scavenging in the park (left over picnics)
  • Increased litter in the park (cut pads)
  • CBAs
  • Dog fight wounds

Most of these usually result in an increase of calls, especially to out-of-hours services (OOH). Do you know how easy it is for your clients to access this? How far is it to travel – by car and public transport? Does your phone system work? Is it an up to date message, i.e. contact details and staff voice. Does the phone go straight through to another clinic without advising the client? How easy is it for the client to get the phone number? Are the advised to have a pen and paper?

It’s all simple stuff but can make a major difference. I have advised so many clients to consider OOH cover when choosing a vet. It’s all good until 7pm and then how far do you have to go? Will they accept direct claims? Do they send a history to your primary care vet? All crucial questions to answer, but we never think of as who really plans for emergency!

Do you have the emergency number on your day/window? Is it clearly stated on an answerphone, preferably twice to allow people to write it down. Can you get key fobs/magnets/bookmarks with your number on to give as freebies to clients?

We want summer to be enjoyable for our clients, and their pets. Simple first aid kits for cut pads, signs and symptoms of common allergies, advice for the first 24 hours of a GI upset. All can help bond a client and make them feel more prepared for life’s little emergencies. They can also be sales opportunities – you could make GI kits and first aid kits.

So, happy summer, see it as a bonding opportunity!

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