Building a sustainable veterinary practice means working diligently at attracting and retaining new clients. When you focus on those things that are most important to pet owners, you improve your chances of finding this success and building your business.

As a veterinarian, you don’t have the advantage of getting a notification every time someone with a pet moves into your neighborhood. That means to grow your practice it is important to know what new clients are looking for when they are choosing a veterinary clinic. If you can address the top concerns of your new clients before they even walk in the door, you will give your practice a much better chance to develop a loyal client base and sustainable business.

While every client is unique and has different priorities, the following are four things that many pet owners are looking for when choosing a vet.

Facility

Your facility can have a significant impact on whether a new client decides to make an appointment. Not only should it be centrally located where your target pet-owning demographic lives or works, but it should also have curb appeal for those residents that see it every day. Curb appeal means ensuring your building and the surrounding sidewalk, as well as any landscaping, is clean and well maintained.

The interior of your facility is important as well. Be sure that new clients are comfortable as soon as they walk in the door and that there is ample space in the waiting area for pets who are not as social to be separate from others.

Experience

Pet owners want to be sure that their animals are in good hands, and assessing the experience of the veterinarian and vet techs at a clinic is one way for them to do that. This can be a difficult challenge to overcome if you are a new veterinarian who has just opened a practice. However, there are still a few options available to you as a young veterinarian. Many veterinarians who lack a tremendous amount of experience choose to work with a more experienced vet at an established clinic to gain experience. If that is not possible, hiring a staff of technicians who have a good deal of experience is another option.

Services

Most veterinary clients would prefer to obtain the majority, if not all, of their services from one location. Therefore, as a veterinary clinic that is looking to keep clients loyal to your practice, it is important to offer as wide a range of services as makes sense for your specific clientele. Addressing this concern may mean investing in a new vet lab supply that will allow you to run a gamut of tests on the animals that you see. Expanding your services could also mean delving into other areas of animal care, such as boarding, grooming, microchipping, etc.

Costs

There is no getting around the fact that veterinary clients are concerned with costs. While it can be difficult, if not impossible, to always be the lowest priced clinic in the area, there are still ways to encourage cost-conscious consumers to choose your clinic. One way to ensure that new clients are comfortable with your prices is to be extremely transparent and upfront. Before beginning any procedure, provide an estimate of the costs and ensure that clients know what they are paying for before they sign off on anything. This kind of transparency builds trust and solidifies client relationships from the start.