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90% response rate, though this is not a representable finding. In our study text messages were the most effective as clients often rang back immediately, followed by e-mail and then post cards.
In Scandinavia, most clinics only send out one or max two reminders. It was therefore interesting to learn that in our study 28% of the clients came in due to the 3rd reminder.
A learning/mistake we made was that our third reminder stated (in a polite way) that “We have send two reminders. If you don’t want to receive more reminders or have had your pet vaccinated elsewhere then please give notice”. The response rate was high, but half of them said that they did not want to receive more reminders. This should instead have been a phone call, where the veterinary nurse could talk them in.
Outlay of our reminders
Based on looking at many reminders and having a few group discussions we agreed that a reminder should have the following characteristics: It should be relatively short, as clients do not want to read a lot of text. It should also include the following:
• An introduction showing the name of the clinic so that the client immediately can spot that the SMS is from the clinic
• A link to a landing page at the practice website explaining why the procedure is important
• A link to online booking (although the majority of clients called instead of booking online
• A phone number that they can click on directly to get in touch with the clinic
The human factor
As a part of another project we have been video filming many consultations and vaccinations. This gave us some interesting observations. The quality of the performance by the different veterinarians shows a huge difference. By watching the videos, it became very clear why some clinic has a high number of vaccinations and other clinics the opposite. There will be a huge potential in educating the veterinarians in performing a good health checks and making sure that the clients understand the importance of vaccinations, health checks and dentals.
Forward booking and prebooked appointments
In the US there is an initiative in teaching clinics to implement forward booking. This meaning that you ask the client to book and actual appointment a year in advance. I have tried to implement this is DK and NO, but without any success. However I still have a suspicion that it has been based on the performance of the veterinarian testing the approach. I still believe it is worth looking into.
An Urban Experience
In Norway many practices, based on a recommendation from a software provider, has started to make pre- booked appointments. It seems to have a positive effect. However in my two clinics in Norway we experience that some client left the clinic that started with prebooked appointments and shifted to our other clinic.
Start with a direct marketing campaign
I have surveyed the reminder system of five practices and made an interesting finding. If a practice has 2.000 active clients, it will on average have 1.500 clients who has been to the practice between 12-24 months ago, but not visited within the last 12 months. This means that there
is a huge potential to address those clients. During my talk I will show some of the direct marketing campaigns that we have performed in order to start up the reminder programme.

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