Recently we shared a post highlighting a few of the key benefits offering wellness plans can have for your practice. Knowing this and actually implementing it as a strategy, however, can sometimes be challenging. To help save you time and aggravation and improve your odds of success, here are five expert tips to follow.
Define your coverage options
The first step is, of course, determining what plans you will offer and what services to include in those plans. The goal should be to make them comprehensive enough that they’re worth your clients’ while, but not so complex that they’re confusing and/or make upselling more difficult. For best results, choose services that can be applied in all situations, regardless of the age or species of the patient. For instance, annual exams, basic vaccinations, parasite prevention, etc. Avoid including products, as this can further complicate matters since pets vary in size and species as well as dosage and type of product required.
Price your plan appropriately
In order for wellness plans to be successful, they have to be at a price point that is both attractive to the client as well as profitable for you. Be conscious of this as you’re pricing your plans. For example, let’s say you are offering a 12-month payment plan. If you offer too deep of a discount, you will not generate enough reoccurring income to make it worthwhile. Conversely, if you charge too much, people won’t bite. Most practices charge an upfront annual enrollment fee, which can help defray some of the costs incurred during the initial visit. The balance is then divvied up into 12 equal monthly payments. If you’re unsure what to charge, do a little market research in your area.
Consider offering multiple options
If you’ve got an eclectic group of clients, offering multiple plan options might help your wellness plans appeal to a broader audience. There are a few different ways to do this. Some practices break it down by the age and species of pet. For instance, they offer kitten wellness plans, adult dog wellness plans, senior wellness plans, etc. Others choose to designate plans by tiers. For example, the basic plan costs the least but only includes an exam and specified vaccinations. A premium plan might include other more advanced services, like dental care, spay/neuter procedures, etc.
Choose a payment strategy/platform
Because wellness plans typically involve equal monthly payments, you’ll want to set up a system that will take care of the automatic payment processing for you every month. The good news is, there are a number of existing platforms and services that offer this specifically. Start with your local banking provider. Chances are they offer an option that will allow you to process automatic payments from credit cards, debit cards or ACH checking accounts. Once set up, your staff should only need to input information from new enrollees.
Don’t get overwhelmed
Launching a wellness plan program can feel overwhelming – especially when you’re busy doing a million other things in your practice. If you’re struggling, try starting small with just one simple plan. Once you get comfortable, you can start building out from there. Remember – there’s no right, wrong or one-size-fits-all solution to a business initiative like this. Approach it at your own pace and you’ll see it’s not nearly as big a hurdle as you once imagined it to be.
Let’s hear from you! Have you had success implementing wellness plans? What strategies, tips, tricks or advice can you offer to others? Please share in the comments section below.