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Getting an App Built for Your Veterinary Hospital is Easier Than You Think

Getting an App Built for Your Veterinary Hospital is Easier Than You Think

Veterinary hospitals are in the opposite of the “sweet spot” when it comes to running an easy and profitable business. Some businesses – like a micropreneurial editing service – have low profit and low overhead. They’re simple to run and produce a reasonable income. Other businesses – major law firms and specialist medical offices, for example – have high overheads with correspondingly high profits. They’re complex and expensive to run, but come with margins that justify the cost and complexity.

Your veterinary hospital requires expensive equipment, large floor space, continuing education and the complex management of dozens to hundreds of clients. It’s expensive in time and money, but the profit margins are still among the lowest in any professional industry. Savvy vets find ways to simplify operations, reduce costs and produce enough profits to make the living they deserve.

Apps are one way to do that.

What are Apps?

Apps are programs that run on your tablet or smart phone (and/or mobile devices of your clients and potential clients). Like the computer applications of the past three decades, they can automate many tasks that are essential for your hospital’s success, but they are resource-intensive. Some examples of veterinary apps that are popular right now:

  • DVM Cal app, which puts over 50 medical calculators at your fingertips to make diagnosis and treatment faster and more reliable
  • Pet Acoustics, designed to have your phone play music in the hearing sensitivity range of a given animal to help sooth a patient during treatment
  • Differential Diagnosis provides a flowchart of symptoms and questions to help new vets make accurate, rapid diagnoses and keep experienced vets up to date on new findings
  • Dvm360 offers a range of videos, reports, audio clips and tests to help train every member of a veterinary hospital’s team

Unlike the software applications of old, apps are inexpensive to buy ($5 on average), and cheap enough for your hospital to have one custom-made.

What Can They Do for You?

As the examples above indicate, an app can ease a variety of hardships for any business by automating processes that either take up too much human time, are subject to too much human error or both. Research associated with the Differential Diagnosis app suggests it can save $8,000 to $15,000 per year of veterinarian time by streamlining the diagnosis process. The number of ways a good app can help small businesses of any kind is literally infinite, but here are several of the most common:

  • Training Tools to help keep staff knowledgeable while minimizing time wasted in meetings
  • Knowledge Database that reduces errors and streamlines appointments
  • Patient Tracking to manage medical history, medication allergies and other details of each furry guest
  • Client Reminders that help manage long-term care and follow-up visits for patients with complex or lasting medical issues
  • Office Communication available on demand through your phone
  • Lead Tracking that turns people who emailed in with a question into qualified sources of new business
  • Front-of Mind Awareness Maintenance to remind customers of upcoming checkups and to develop a community of delighted clients
  • Drip System Management for letting lapsed and former clients know you’re still thinking about them

What Can They Do for Your Clients?

An app can save your office thousands of dollars annually per staff member, but its real benefit is in what it can do for your clients. Marketing in the 21st century is about delighting your customers after the sale, so they go online and tell everybody what an awesome veterinarian they have. The more they do that, the more their friends bring their beloved pets to you…and the more you delight them, the better your veterinary hospital will succeed.

Powerful apps provide information, reassurance and a sense of community to the people who use them. Take two hypothetical cases of a cat owner:

  • The owner receives a phone call once a year reminding him/her to come in for a checkup, and a Christmas card with a coupon for 10% off high-priced flea medication.
  • The owner receives an SMS note once or twice a month with links to news articles relevant to his/her cat’s health, has access to his/her pet’s health records in real time for free, gets a same-day free health question service via an app in his/her pocket and access to a database of adorable cat photos he/she can opt to receive at regular intervals.

Which one of these will produce the truly delighted customer? Which one will keep a veterinarian in the front of the customer’s mind? Which provides the customer with valuable tools related to his/her pet’s health that costs the customer nothing and requires few resources from the veterinarian?

How Can You Get One?

App creation tools and app programming have gotten so simple you could probably build one on your own, but you shouldn’t do that. You’re a veterinarian, not a computer programmer. The best apps come from professionals who develop apps for businesses. The best apps for veterinary hospitals come from companies that specialize in apps for that specific business. Two such companies with solid reputations operating today are PetVetApp.com and Vet2Pet, both of which build custom apps from proven templates to improve operations at various levels in your clinic.

We’re not promising an app for your operation will be a one-stop super-solution to all the trials, tribulations and hardships of doing what you do…but we are recommending you seriously consider adding one to your business and marketing plans.

Vets and other professionals in the Kabbage community, have you had experience with building an app for your company? Tell us about it in the comments below and join the conversation. 

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Kabbage Team

The Kabbage Team is here to not only fund the small business loans you need, but to help you grow your business through free marketing tips, webinars, tools and more. Is there something you'd like us to cover or want to get your small business featured on our blog? Send us a note at content@kabbage.com.

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