Of course, he always takes the front seat. He doesn’t care if you’re already sitting in it; Wilbur is going to claim what he believes is his. All 70 pounds of him demand it.
And you can always tell when we’re pulling up to his veterinarian’s office. His ears perk up, he stands up on all fours, and his tail goes absolutely bonkers.
Once inside, his enthusiasm doesn’t slow down. Even after a lifetime (two years) of visiting his one and only animal hospital, he’ll still piddle out of excitement on the stained concrete floor from time to time.
Even though Wilbur doesn’t necessarily have any say in the matter, we’ll drive past several other animal hospitals just to get to his.
The In-House Vet Wellness Plan Is to Blame
Why the loyalty? Naturally, there are several reasons. For one, they take good care of him and know him by name. This makes me feel like they care. Also, their services and pricing are well-balanced and fair. And finally, we’re on the hook with a wellness plan subscription.
I admit, “on the hook” may sound a bit harsh, but if I’m being totally honest, that’s what it is. And I’m perfectly fine with it.
These days you can buy just about anything via subscription…software, audio books, wine, television, even socks. Why should my pet’s health be any different?
Boosting Your Bank Account
I’ve already shown why I’m loyal as a client, but what does this mean for our animal hospital’s revenue?
Depending on which study you believe, it’s five to 25 times more expensive to acquire a new client than it is to retain an existing one. Even on the conservative end of this statistic, the point is clear: leveraging in-house vet wellness plans will improve client loyalty, which can save — and make —you loads of money.
Since I already paid the annual fee, there’s no logical reason for me to go anywhere else. A client with this mindset is great news for your bottom line! As a bonus, along the way you’ll negate your competition while developing deeper relationships with your clients.
Amongst other services, the in-house vet wellness plan we’re on includes three nose-to-tail exams per year. With a subscription I only have to make my buying decision once at the beginning of the membership. Conversely, obtaining the same services with the old à-la-carte model requires me to make a buying decision three times, any of which could end up in a “Wilbur’s fine to skip this next one” decision.
Making the decision once lessens the chances of my not complying with the doctor’s recommended frequency of exams. In the end, I have a healthier pet and am even more endeared to our vet. Another bonus for her revenue.
It’s like they say, Once you go subscription, you don’t go back!
Not really, but in-house pet wellness plans from an animal hospital’s point of view really are like a Symphony bar to a chocolate addict. It’s exciting to see the automatic deposits show up in your bank account. In turn, it makes it easier to forecast revenue, which then makes it easier to anticipate expenses and profits.
This is fantastic for your practice’s health! You’ll sleep better at night knowing you have hundreds of clients automatically paying you their monthly or annual subscription fees.
I recently celebrated my 40th birthday and got exactly what I wanted: my wife and kids joining me for a fun day of skiing at Bogus Basin, the ski resort just 18 miles north of Boise, Idaho.
Wilbur, on the other hand, wouldn’t have enjoyed staying home alone all day. Sure, we could have dropped him off with a friend, but where’s the fun in that?
We decided to take him to doggie daycare so he could follow the caretaker around (he prefers humans over other dogs). You’d never guess, but we took him to his veterinarian’s pet resort! Remember our loyalty? And thanks to the in-house vet wellness plan we have, the animal hospital grabbed another $25 from my bank account for the upsell.
Selling pet wellness subscriptions gives your practice a built-in client base to upsell. They’re a captive audience, they already trust you, and given the opportunity, they’ll spend more money with you.
Practice Valuation Bump
According to Bob House, President of BizBuySell.com, “Recurring revenue makes small businesses more appealing to buyers.” For veterinarians, the logical way to add recurring revenue is through in-house vet wellness plans.
Bob goes on to say that it can “significantly increase the value and sale price of the business.”
This should be music to your ears if you’re an animal hospital owner. At some point down the road you’re either going to need to borrow money or sell your practice. Would it hurt to pocket a few extra bucks before that time arrives?
Done for Me
My expertise is in business and marketing, not veterinary medicine. This is why my favorite thing about our pet wellness plan is that all the thinking is done for me! I don’t have to figure out what medical services to purchase and when they’re needed.
What I do know is that Wilbur needs regular wellness care, and who better to make the plan than his veterinarian?
It’s not a major expense for us by all means, but I still hate costly surprises! The in-house vet wellness plan we subscribe to gives us a predictable budget for taking care of Wilbur’s basic needs. Of course, anything he needs above and beyond what’s included in the plan would be extra.
This sort of goes back to the compliance benefit our veterinarian experiences. We benefit, too! If we’re more compliant as a result of subscribing to the wellness plan, Wilbur is naturally going to be healthier. And if Wilbur is healthy, my family and I are happy.
In the unfortunate case that anything serious pops up with Wilbur, I’m confident that detecting the problem early in one of his nose-to-tail exams will help with treatment and be less expensive.
Our animal hospital gives us discounts for being on their in-house vet wellness plan. In our case, this saves us approximately $250 per year.
On the surface, discounts can seem like a negative for your practice’s revenue. This would be true if you weren’t getting something in return. In the case of wellness plans, you are.
When you buy a box of cereal at Costco, you expect to get a better deal on it because it’s twice as big. Sure, you get a lower price per bowl of cereal, but Costco also makes more money because you’re spending more.
Wellness plans give you the opportunity to make money the same way Costco does. Not a bad model to follow!
I’m guessing you either don’t have a wellness plan in place yet, or you’re not sure about the one you have.
Rest assured, you’re on the right track! Follow the likes of Netflix, Quickbooks, Verizon, Dollar Shave Club, and even the AVMA. The subscription model works and is the wave of the future. It can and should be applied to veterinary care too!
Your clients deserve it. Your patients deserve it. You deserve it.