According to the Bayer 2011 Veterinary Care Usage Study, financial obstacles often have a great influence on pet owners’ care decisions. The flexibility afforded by wellness plans can generate customer loyalty by providing regular, reliable care at competitive rates, but basic membership programs are just the beginning. A well-established practice opening in the San Francisco Bay Area found that their more fiscally comfortable community was less concerned about cost, and more interested in quality, convenience and predictability in care. In this instance, the new practice found great success in offering pet specific, tailored plans to provide a full range of pet care services.
Many successful veterinary practices expand over time to incorporate other facilities — kennel space, in-house pharmacy, pet-care supplies, etc. — effectively becoming a one-stop-shop for pet owners. However, the risk associated with adding hard costs to the business can be daunting. Unsold pet food, expired medication, and empty kennel space can quickly add up to quarterly losses. The loyalty assured by wellness plans acts to mitigate the risks of opening up new features, ensuring consistency and predictable consumption of products and Services.
Offering all of these services in-house makes the decision easy for many pet owners, as going to their family veterinarian for these services brings with it peace of mind they won’t find at most competitors. Why trust your pet to a cut-rate kennel, when you can send them somewhere with a Vet in house? Big box retailers may offer a wide variety of pet supplies, but buying directly from your trusted vet will ensure you’re getting all the right products for your pet-care needs. Pet owners can easily upgrade their plan to include any of these features, thus ensuring that customer’s loyalty to the provider for those services. And, by adding higher margin services or products to a wellness plan improves the bottom line.
The Bay Area practice found that customizing their wellness plan options made it easy to launch these new facilities, and the included customer loyalty established a strong foundation for expanding revenue streams. Furthermore, automated payment software took care of the difficulty of managing and billing multiple payment plans. Within a month of offering these new services, the Bay Area practice added over 70 new wellness plans, adding confidence and stability to their new business model.