Today’s pet owners are different than those a few decades ago. They’re likely to spend more on their pets than older generations of consumers, even though the majority of pet owners now adopt older shelter dogs or cats rather than pure-bred puppies or kittens. Their pets probably received basic preventive care at the shelter and have been spayed or neutered before adoption. And pet owners today are more apt to look for information or shop for products online than to pick up a phone and call a veterinary practice. As pet owners’ preferences and behaviors evolve, veterinarians need to adapt their businesses to meet these changing needs and demands.
How Payment Solutions Can Help Veterinary Practices Stay Relevant
Veterinarians are expanding their practices to include additional services and options that help them maintain a healthy bottom line. A modern payment solution can help veterinarians efficiently manage:
Pet owners, like any consumers, want to schedule services and make payments in ways that are most convenient for them. Many veterinarians are engaging pet owners on new channels to elevate customer experiences. Options include online appointment scheduling, text, app, or email communication with practitioners, easy access to digital information, and online, mobile and in-person payment choices.
Some practices are establishing online storefronts where pet owners can purchase pet food, medication and other products. An e-commerce presence can help veterinarians recoup some of the revenue they’re losing to pet store chains and build stronger relationships with their customers by recommending the best products for their pets.
Omnichannel payment solutions can make managing business easier for veterinarians adding new channels and services. An omnichannel solution will give pet owners the convenience of paying for services, medication or other necessities on any channel but also give the veterinarian an efficient way to manage all revenue streams and data from a single screen.
Training and grooming services
Veterinarians can hire staff or partner with certified professionals to offer services such as puppy classes, service dog training, or grooming. Offerings such as these can increase the number of touchpoints with a customer throughout the year, rather than just an annual visit when pet owners bring their pets for shots and examinations.
An advanced omnichannel payment solution can allow pet owners to schedule and pay for services in advance, so they don’t have to settle a bill while an anxious pet pulls on a leash. The veterinarian can also store tokenized payment information so a repeat customer can simply charge a card on file.
Pet daycare or kennel services
To round out offerings as a one-stop-shop for pets, some veterinarians offer daycare or kennel services. These services can be bundled with training, grooming, or routine preventative care into a “Veterinary as a Service” offering that the pet owner pays for each month. In addition to providing customers with the convenience of one location for all of their pet care needs, this can build recurring revenue that can keep the practice in the black. With the right payment provider, veterinarians can establish secure, automatic recurring billing for even greater efficiency.
Veterinarians providing care for large animals often travel to provide services. Mobile solutions give them access to all of the animal’s records and customer information to make services more efficient. If the mobile solution includes integrated payments, the veterinarian also can receive payment at the time of service and avoid the time, costs and labor associated with billing — and the collections process for late payments.
Whether a veterinarian performs a complicated procedure on-site or in the practice’s facilities, the right payment plan can enable them to set up a payment plan for substantial charges that pet owners must pay out of pocket. The solution can even ensure the card on file is updated to minimize declined charges.
Add Value to the Solutions You Provide
ISVs and VARs can add significant value to the solutions they provide in the veterinary space by integrating them with an omnichannel payment solution. You will help your clients deliver better customers experiences in a competitive market and also give them access to payment data from all channels that can help them understand their customers better.