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3rd April 2024

Is Your Pet Health Plan Relevant to Today’s Pet Owners?

using video consultation to make pet health plan relevant

Recent evidence shows that pet owners’ wants and needs have changed considerably. A YouGov/AI survey on what pet owners wanted or expected of their vets produced some telling responses. It emerged that 70% of pet owners don’t want to visit their vet unless their pet needs medical attention. Even more surprising is that 70% preferred not to visit their vet even when their pet was displaying signs of a health issue (they would prefer an initial video consultation). This means that the majority of your client base could be at risk of looking elsewhere to find a service that suits them. In today’s very competitive marketplace, your clients may well consider changing their vet practice to one who offers the services they require. Is your pet health plan relevant?

This is a clear signal that things need to change within the industry; after all, surgery clients are also consumers and now expect the same convenience, value and ease when buying for their pet as they experience when buying other consumables and services. When was the last time you ordered something from an online retailer because you didn’t have time to or want to visit a physical outlet?

Add to that the fact that 59% of new pet owners are under the age of 351 and they do not want to visit stores or communicate by traditional means (telephone, emails etc.) it’s even more vital that vet practices are more flexible to clients’ needs. Not adapting to clients’ expectations introduces a significant risk of losing regular revenue both from your pet health plans and general practice income, as clients are tempted to find a service that suits their needs.

What do veterinary practices need to do to meet this changing landscape?

Think about what your shopping experience is now like and consider if your practice reflects your own wants and needs.

Traditionally footfall was an important part of your business, and your pet health plan was created to encourage this. If we think about the 70% who no longer see any value in visiting without their pet, what has that done to your plan compliance rates? Premier Vet Alliance analysed data from several practices’ PMS systems and found that, whilst a non-plan client’s compliance was between 25 – 30%, those on a plan only moved to 68%. 32% of products were unclaimed, even though the client was paying for them! The biggest challenge to your plan’s success is cancellation through lack of perceived value. We surveyed the clients of 43 clinics who had cancelled their plan and 43% could have been avoided if the client had seen value. We need to move our thoughts away from footfall and now look at client engagement whilst finding a way to provide what the client wants.

Think about how you can stop asking your clients to behave in a way they no longer see as valuable to them.

Find a way to stop clients looking elsewhere for a more suitable service.

Where do you start? The biggest challenge is your clients’ lack of perceived value in their plan, evidenced by lack of compliance and them not wanting to visit you.

Providing a home delivery service for parasiticides, as part of your pet health plan, answers both challenges. Clients receive 100% of their product entitlement and they no longer feel a lack of value or inconvenience. It provides pet owners with the same experience they look for in other, non-veterinary suppliers.

Post2Pet was introduced to our practice customers in 2019 and has continued to grow at a fast pace, as practices realise it’s a service their pet health plan clients really want. Click the button below to learn more.

If you run pet health plans, it could not be easier to introduce home delivery to those clients. This helps retention, as you will have solved the issues many pet owners see with traditional veterinary service provisions. It also makes your plans more attractive and relevant to clients not yet on your plan. Our expert coaches will deal with everything, from pricing and set-up to training your staff.

PVA’s Post2Pet service, is partnered with all the main wholesalers in England, Scotland, and Wales. We deliver to 85,000 pet owners and so we understand the processes and technology needed to successfully fulfil high volumes of deliveries.

We can deliver any POMV products, so your clinical decisions are not compromised.

The good news is that the administration of your pet health plans and home delivery is all in one place, through our industry leading technology platform, making it easy to monitor and manage your plans.

Whatever your situation – whether you currently offer plans with PVA or elsewhere or have yet to set up plans for your valued clients, we can talk you through the pros and cons and analyse what is best for you and your clients, before recommending what you should (or shouldn’t) do next. Please CLICK HERE to request more information.

1 PFMA survey 2021