5 Best Practices on How to Use Veterinary Software & CRM for Vet Clinics

The October 2019 Veterinary Software – Market Analysis, Trends, and Forecasts report reiterates what we already know: more humans will make pets part of their lives, and technology keeps developing to cater to the demand.

The report forecasts the Global Veterinary Software Market to grow by $218 mln. Just one of the types of software that serves the vet industry, the Veterinary Practice Management solutions are estimated to exhibit a 6.1% growth rate. This segment alone is anticipated to reach nearly half a billion USD in sales by 2025 [$477K].

The competition is high, so the vets all over the world can benefit from competitive pricing and more agile software solutions.

In this piece we will: 

  • Cover the best Veterinary Practice Management Software in 2020 
  • Provide an overview of CRM for veterinary clinic must-have features
  • Give five best practices on the use of CRM for vets.

Aspects to consider while choosing veterinary software 

Cloud-based vs on-premise software for vets

You will have to decide which one is best for you. With cloud-based solutions, you get access to all the data from anywhere in the world; from a phone, from home, or a vacation destination. 

Server-based, on-premises solutions have their advantages and are usually paid from as one-time down payment, as opposed to monthly per-user subscription fees with many of the SaaS cloud-based software for the veterinary industry.

It is worth mentioning that server-based solutions might be the option for bigger vet practices, while smaller ones will have a hard time investing in maintaining and securing the servers. Secondly, the global trend in terms of CRM for all industries is to shift to cloud-based solutions with the emergence of SaaS technology.

Software and CRM for veterinary clinics as the marketing tool

Growing your practice is no easy task, even more so in bigger cities where things may get competitive. The modern customer relationship management SaaS solutions provide a suite of instruments to effectively communicate with the client, plan activities, send out emails, and more.

Paying attention to the communication features and client-base building functionalities is vital while choosing veterinary practice management software.

Vet-specific SaaS solutions and general universal CRM tools

When selecting the software for small vet practice or a local vet office with only one vet, the choice often goes beyond the specialized solutions. Many smaller offices prefer to go for cloud-based agile CRM solutions that are not vet-specific.

A few factors condition such choice of CRM software for veterinary:

  1. Those systems are mobile and can be accessed from anywhere: on the go, at home, on your phone.
  2. Such systems are extremely customizable as they are built for all industries; their principal quality is the ability to add a special field in every function: contact, deal, task, activity, event, and pipeline.
  3. Those systems are far more advanced in terms of marketing and client management, and have extensive integrations with major apps and SaaS: being universal, their addressable market far exceeds the narrow-niche markets, so they can invest huge amounts into R&D and keep on top of the CRM system domain trends.

On the other hand, such solutions lack the vet-specific features that may be of use to a young vet doctor, who could use the templates and functions specific to the field.

The bigger vet practices, on the other hand, may choose to combine forces with veterinary software being used by doctors and medical staff, while the administration may use CRMs with their comprehensive marketing and client-management sections.

Extensive analytics and reporting features

If you cannot measure it, you cannot improve it. While choosing veterinary software for practice management, always pay attention to the flexibility and possibilities of the reporting and analytical module.

The extensive customizable reporting function will allow you to create a report based on any data point to improve its performance. The first step to improving any aspect of the business is to know where it is now and, ideally, see the history and past trends.

Best Veterinary Practice Management Software

Top 5 veterinary software by Capterra 

Let’s see the current biggest players on the market for veterinary software

Covetrus software services developer offers a range of products, trademarks, and brands specifically targeting different markets:

  • AVImark
  • ImproMed
  • ImproMed Equine
  • eVetPractice
  • RoboVet
  • RxWorks

The company is one of the leading suppliers in the animal health systems domain and has marketing products as a separate line with Rapport and VetStreet solutions.

HippoManager is another recognizable name in this realm, that offer appointment scheduler, point of sale, patient portal, built-in-reporting features. The company operates in 22 countries and states 950+ vets use this system. Prices start at $119 per user per month.

IDEXX is a global player not only in the vet practice management software development but also in such adjoining industries like a small animal and livestock diagnostics, reference laboratories, water quality tests, and even human health.

The company offers two products for veterinary practice management software: 

IDEXX Cornerstone [industry’s most adopted soft with 125K users]

IDEXX Neo [cloud-based solution with pricing starting at $249 per month for single-doctor vet practices].

IDEXX Cornerstone & NEO software for vets

crm for vet clinics

crm for vet clinics

Is CRM for Veterinary a viable alternative?

Indeed.

Specifically, for small practices, private vets, and big chain clinics. Let’s see how.

What is CRM?

CRM or customer relationship management is a SaaS technology (mostly cloud-based nowadays) that allows for managing client communications, contact management, track emails, plan team activities, and provide analytics.

What are the best CRM solutions in 2020?

There are virtually hundreds of systems offering CRM features out there, so to find your way around, checking out reputable rankings is a good start before comparing the features and pricing.

Capterra’s Top 10 CRM for 2020:

  1. Pipedrive
  2. Zoho CRM
  3. Nimble 
  4. Keap
  5. Nutshell
  6. Hubspot
  7. JobNimbus
  8. Dynamics 365
  9. Capsule
  10. Insightly

Capterra TOP 10 CRM software ranking 2020

Why is universal CRM a good option for a small vet practice?

Small vet practice can use CRM as a tool to manage customer data.

Below are the advantages:

  • The price for a universal CRM starts at $19 per user per month, while most of the specialized solutions offer a rate of $149+ per user per month.
  • Universal CRMs are way more advanced in terms of contact management, communication, mail tracking, calendar, activity scheduling, and reporting functions due to the fact that they have bigger addressable markets and have the possibility to invest heavily in R&D.
  • Customization features and flexibility are at the core of CRMs that are not industry-specific. They need to cater to several industries, so customizable fields are easily turned into new data points.

How can big vet clinics benefit from CRMs?

Universal CRMs can be invaluable merit for bigger veterinarian establishments and chains of vet clinics.

How so?

The big chains are likely to have on-premises solutions for the medical staff which enables them to perform all the duties related to diagnosis, medical testing, curing, prescribing treatments, and scheduling patients. 

A significant portion of a big clinic’s success can be ascribed to the efficiencies of such non-medical administrative roles, like PR, marketing, SMM, HR, purchasing, and so forth. This is where a universal CRM will complement, and possibly outshine, any veterinary practice management solution.

Nimble CRM for Veterinarians

Nimble is one of the leading CRM systems in the world, found at the top of all independent software system rankings due to overwhelmingly positive genuine feedback of real customers. 

Why is Nimble one of the best CRM solutions out there in 2020?

Communication-based CRM

Nimble CRM was built with social media networking in mind and is integrated with 165+ apps, including LinkedIn and Twitter. Such communication-centered design is very much aligned with the modern omnipresence of the social channels. With the Nimble software, users can cluster multiple communications, messengers, and emails into one comprehensive screen.

Intuitive UX design

This customer relationship management system builds itself for its users. It’s so simple that anybody with a Facebook account is a priori a guru of Nimble. 

Customization

Multiple customization features allow users to create ways to optimize processes that are characteristic of their business. Users can customize contact fields, deal fields, tasks, and pipelines.

Value for money

Last but not least, with that bottomless arsenal of features, Nimble is priced at the rate of a few lattes: monthly subscription is $25 per user per month and if you are happy to be billed annually, you get one monthly subscription at $19 per user.

How to use CRM for vet clinics: 5 best practices

Create meaningful connections with clients

Client loyalty is one of the most precious things there is in business. A new customer costs five times as much as an existing one. This is why it is important to create connections that are meaningful and go beyond the pricing, terms, and conditions.

Just as you try to establish friendly contact with the beloved pet of a client during a vet visit or examination, so you should try and build a positively-colored relationship online. This is where the extensive toolkit of the communication module of Nimble will help.

Use social media signals to have a quick overview of the client’s interests and engagements. While Facebook might be a bit too personal for a first-time visit to connect, it is perfectly okay to react to Twitter and LinkedIn social activity of your client. Contributing well-dosed insightful comments or reactions will ease your further communication and help crystallize the friendly tone of voice.

Tag any data pint to turn it into a measured aspect of your business

Remember: if you cannot measure something, there is no way of knowing how to affect that something.

Tagging functionality is available across many options, like contacts, deals, and tasks. By tagging something, you can easily create a segment based on the tag and further make it a field in your report. 

For example, you can create a tag for pets who take part in dog or cat exhibitions. This way it is easy to later single out such pets to send their owners a “good luck with the championship!” note before a competition, or an update on the shampoo that everybody uses on their pets for extra gloss.

crm for vets

crm for vets

Segmentation is the king of analysis. Utilize it.

Segmentation is possible across many pre-determined parameters; including interest, age, location, and more. There is a tag option in the segmentation features as well, so pretty much any description of the contact can become a segment.

For the purpose of the demonstration, imagine that some of your contacts in your CRM are groomers. You exchange referrals and this is a significant part of your customer acquisition (around 10%).

By creating a segment by profession “groomer” you can always easily communicate with this cluster of highly valuable contacts, inviting them over for a BBQ or company anniversary.

Keep an eye on referral business to grow your market share

Combine the tagging and segmentation functions to create reporting on your referral business. By marking your contacts with specific tags, like “RefName,” you can later subject such data points to analysis.

When you know how much business this or that person brought to you, it is easy to estimate what kind of reward you are happy to share with such lead generation contacts.

You may want to send them a holiday presents or create an incentive program with one-time payouts.

Growing your referral business is important both ways: vertically and horizontally. If you have one pet-food salesperson generating business for you, make sure you reach out to all of the salespeople in the hood.

If you don’t know anybody on the local dog show yet, make sure you go and introduce yourself so that you can create an extra lead-generating agent in your hood.

Scheduling and reminders: buy yourself time

Time is the most valuable asset a person has. CRMs are there to save time for veterinary doctors. Every feature in the Nimble CRM was created to facilitate the smoothest possible workflow in a professional environment. As you explore each feature, make sure to understand how it will save you time and use this option.

An extensive library of best practices of how to use CRM has been elaborated for our users and compiled on the Nimble YouTube channel.

But one of the modules has everything to do with time and this is the activity tab. It has three views with a detailed list view and a helicopter view visual representation in the calendar view.

Mastering this module is one of the primary steps to take in the short learning curve that it takes to get full command of this intuitive customer relation management software.

Choose your CRM for veterinary practice with ease

While choices are always hard, one thing is easy with the SaaS selection process. Most of the best CRM solutions offer free trials, as they are confident their product will not disappoint.

Our product is as good, that on top of offering a free trial, we consider it good business ethics to arm our potential clients with an official disclaimer: 

**Beware, Nimble is so good, many efficiency-focused professionals found it addictive.