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Top 5 Challenges for Practice Managers (and How to Solve Them)

Updated: Nov 25, 2023

They say nothing in life is certain. We tend to disagree – at least in terms of our industry. The truth is, in veterinary practice management, there is one certainty: that you will, inevitably, face challenges. It’s how you react and respond to those challenges that will make or break your future success and that of the clinic you’re in charge of. Let’s explore a few of the most common roadblocks practice managers must navigate and some suggestions for how to address and overcome them once and for all.

Client No-Shows

Every time a client fails to show up for a scheduled appointment, your practice loses money – not only from the absent client, but from the one you could have booked in their place. And since one of your primary duties as practice manager is to help maximize revenue, no-shows can impact your overall performance as well. Fortunately, there are a number of proactive things you and your team can do to prevent this, or at least keep it to a minimum. (Here are a few recommendations we shared in a recent blog post.)

Staff Slacking

It’s understandable that your staff members might forget to finish up their daily tasks at the end of a particularly busy day, but when it becomes a pattern, it becomes a problem. Obviously, coaching your team on a regular basis is important for keeping them on their game. You can also employ other methods to help employees stay on target with their day-to-day workload. For instance, providing each team member with a checklist that’s personalized to their role can keep them organized and prevent things from slipping through the cracks.

Lack of Efficiency

Sometimes the reason your team can’t get to all their daily tasks is that they’re not optimizing their time. There is so much technology available today that can address this issue. For instance, by leveraging practice management software that features automation, you can shift a good portion of manual processes from human to machine. Not only will this dramatically improve efficiency, but it’ll free up your team to focus their skills on more important work, which will subsequently boost productivity and improve your practice’s ability to innovate and grow.

Negative Reviews

These days, people trust online reviews from complete strangers just as much as personal recommendations from their family and friends. And since the web is typically the first place prospective clients will go when looking for a vet, making sure your practice has a solid online reputation is paramount. This requires monitoring and management of online reviews. If you’re not doing so yet, be sure satisfied clients are encouraged to share their positive comments online and take the right steps to respond to negative reviews appropriately.

Client Non-Compliance

Success in the veterinary industry isn’t just about bringing more clients and patients through the doors. It’s about keeping them engaged and coming back again and again. That’s how you build sustainable growth. One of the easiest ways to accomplish this is to focus on client compliance. Are all (or at least most) of your clients bringing their pets in at least once a year for a wellness check? If not, then it’s time to invest some time, resources and budget toward increasing those numbers. In doing so, you will keep that appointment book filled, ensure recurring revenue is flowing in and keep patients as healthy as possible. In other words, everybody wins!

Managing a busy veterinary practice will never be without challenges. But by knowing in advance what possible issues you will likely encounter, such as the five listed above, you’ll be much better prepared to either head them off at the pass or swiftly address and overcome them as soon as they occur. This will ultimately make your job much easier and improve the overall operation of your practice.

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