top of page

5 Powerful Ways to Improve Client Communication

Updated: Jun 1

If you’ve managed to become successful in the veterinary industry, chances are you’ve already mastered the art and science of providing exceptional medical care to patients. But, that is not the be all and end all. In fact, of equal, or perhaps even greater importance is communicating effectively with their owners. Without this ongoing connection, your practice will inevitably suffer. Whether you struggle with communication or you simply feel that there may be room for improvement in this area, here’s how we recommend creating stronger connections with your clients.

Use Social to Be Social

Social media platforms, like Facebook and Instagram, have become an integral part of most peoples’ lives. This makes them powerful and highly effective tools for community building and client communication. Take advantage of this by being active and engaged on your social channels. Strike a balance between fun, light-hearted posts, practice news and announcements, and educational opportunities.

Include team members in your posts, not just pets. This can help to establish more of a personal connection and differentiate you from other clinics in your area. And remember to include a call to action in any post where it’s relevant, such as a “book now” or “click to call” button.

Use App Technology

These days, it seems everyone has a smart phone. The beauty of this is that it allows you to place your vet clinic right at the fingertips of your clients. If you are so inclined, creating a branded app for your clients to download can be a great way to stay in contact and communicate regularly. To maximize the effectiveness of app technology, be sure to choose (or build) an app that allows for push notifications, appointment requests, prescription refills and a loyalty program.

Boost the Human-Animal Bond

Studies have shown that people who are most closely bonded with their pets prioritize things like nutrition, exercise and ongoing wellness care. By focusing your efforts on enhancing this bond between your clients and their animal family members, you’ll simultaneously improve their health care. A great way to put this into action is to create a questionnaire for your clients to complete. This should be done for each new client, and updated on an annual basis. 

Ideally, the questionnaire should be designed to collect information, not only about a patient’s medical history, but also his or her lifestyle, activities and overall personality. This will enable you and your team to get to know your patients on a more personal level, which will in turn facilitate more customized and therefore effective care.

Utilize Software

While the underlying goal of improving client communication should be creating a personal connection, that doesn’t necessarily mean every interaction has to be manual. In fact, many day-to-day client communications can (and should) be automated. For instance, leveraging software to keep track of appointments and send out reminders will keep your clients connected and engaged without bogging down your team.

For optimal results, use your practice management software for more than just the basics, like checkups, vaccines and parasite prevention. Dig deeper and program reminders for other important things, like six-month follow-up tests for chronic conditions. Little touch points like this serve to solidify the relationship between your team and your clients, working in conjunction for the good of their pets. And that, in turn, will ensure a steadier stream of appointments on your calendar.

Be Open about Payments

Many practice owners find the subject of payments to be an uncomfortable one. Thankfully, with the right approach, it doesn’t have to be. In fact, experience has shown that the more open, honest and proactive you are with your clients about the cost of care and what their options are, the more trust and overall compliance you’ll achieve.

Start by offering as many payment options as possible. This should include wellness plans, third-party payment options and pet insurance. Be flexible and forthcoming with your clients. Train your team on how to communicate with clients in a way that is educational and supportive. This will ensure consistency and reduce the likelihood of unexpected financial hardships that can cause frustration and drive a wedge between clients and their pet’s health care provider.

When it comes to client satisfaction, communication is key. Thankfully, there are plenty of avenues a practice owner or practice manager can take to ensure that ongoing connection and engagement. Put any of the five suggestions above into practice and you’re sure to see improved results in a short time.

Our Advice on Improving Client Communication in 2024

What specific metrics can veterinary practices use to assess the effectiveness of their client communication strategies?

Veterinary practices can assess the effectiveness of their client communication strategies using several metrics. Client retention rates offer insights into ongoing engagement, while new client rates can indicate the success of outreach efforts. Appointment adherence, measured by the percentage of scheduled appointments kept versus those missed, reflects the impact of reminder systems. Client satisfaction surveys provide direct feedback on communication quality. Additionally, monitoring social media engagement metrics, including likes, shares, and comments, can gauge the reach and reception of digital communications. Together, these metrics provide a comprehensive view of communication effectiveness.

How can practices ensure that their social media content is not only engaging but also accurate, ethical, and compliant with relevant laws and regulations?

To ensure that social media content is engaging, accurate, ethical, and compliant with laws and regulations, veterinary practices should establish a content review protocol. This protocol involves verifying all medical information against current veterinary standards before posting and ensuring adherence to advertising laws and patient privacy regulations, such as HIPAA. Practices should also train staff on ethical guidelines for social media use, focusing on respect for client confidentiality and professional behavior online. Regularly updating these guidelines in response to new regulations or professional standards is crucial for maintaining compliance.

What role can artificial intelligence and machine learning play in optimizing client communication through practice management software?

Artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) can significantly enhance client communication in veterinary practices through practice management software. These technologies can analyze client interaction data to predict and automate the best times for sending appointment reminders or health tips, thus improving engagement rates. AI can also personalize communication by tailoring health care reminders based on individual pet health histories and owner preferences. Additionally, ML algorithms can identify patterns in client feedback, allowing practices to refine their communication strategies and improve client satisfaction effectively.

How can practices train and empower their staff to have more effective, empathetic conversations with clients about financial matters?

To train and empower staff for more effective, empathetic conversations about financial matters, veterinary practices should focus on comprehensive training that includes role-playing scenarios to help staff navigate sensitive financial discussions confidently. This training should cover critical communication skills such as active listening, clear explanation of treatment costs, and discussing various payment options and plans. Emphasizing the value of transparency and proactive communication helps build trust with clients. Additionally, providing staff with up-to-date knowledge on insurance and third-party payment options ensures they can offer informed advice and support to pet owners.

How can practices foster a culture of transparency, trust, and mutual respect with clients around financial matters?

Practices can foster a culture of transparency, trust, and mutual respect with clients around financial matters by consistently communicating clear, detailed information about costs upfront. This should include providing itemized estimates before procedures and explaining the value and necessity of each service. Practices should also offer a range of payment options and financial assistance resources to accommodate diverse client needs. Regular staff training on sensitive communication techniques ensures that conversations about finances are conducted with empathy and professionalism, further strengthening client trust and satisfaction.

Want more practice management tips and tricks? Bookmark the DVMelite blog and check back often for fresh, relevant content.

What's it like to be a
DVM Elite Member?

Hear from Practice Owners
in our community
Dr. Diana is blown away
Dr. Randy & Beth are transformed
Dr. Leslie can't quite believe it

Dr. Cathie
DVM - Wisconsin

December new clients up 28% over last year!


Dr. Peter achieved time freedom while increasing productivity by implementing the DVM Elite system.


Dr. Laura created a happy and healthy company team and culture through the DVM Elite Dream Team.

randy and beth.png

Beth and Randy were able to maximize their room workflow and productivity for greater profitability.


Dr. Leslie was able to increase her profitability through DVM Elite's Key Strategies.

We do it ALL!


bottom of page