Why online bookings are the key to practice success

By Marketing

1 April 2021 5 min read


The modern digital world has changed our behaviours, as well as our expectations. For example, the internet, combined with modern technology, means it’s a lot easier to get what we want, almost whenever we like it.

Sponsored by PetYeti

Businesses of all shapes and sizes are now expected to provide an online presence – it’s no longer a ‘nice to have’. As customers, we know first-hand how a website often forms our first and often long-lasting initial judgement of a business. These first impressions matter, so it’s important to make them count.

The easier it is for a customer to navigate a business’ website and achieve what they set out to do, the more likely the customer will use their services, rather than a competitor’s. For veterinary practices, providing a seamless online experience means not only having a good website, where clients can learn more about your team and the services you provide, but also providing an online booking system.

Supporting this are studies that show 90% of customers prefer to book appointments online, and 40% of customers would change to a practice that offers online appointments.

Two reasons an online booking system is important for practice success

There are two key benefits to having an online booking system. The first is simplicity: It’s easier for your clients to book an appointment for their pet online. Convenience is king when it comes to booking online from anywhere and at any time.

With an online booking system, clients can book their appointments in the middle of the night – if that’s when it’s most convenient for them. Statistics support this, showing that 55% of customers prefer to book their appointments outside of business hours.

The second benefit is for your practice and your team. Rather than tying up your front-line staff answering the phone or replying to emails and manually booking client appointments, this can be handled online. This frees them up for more valuable face-to-face client interactions in-practice.

However, for these benefits to be fully realised, the online booking system you choose should integrate seamlessly with your Practice Information Management Systems (PIMS). This way, a client’s scheduled appointment will show up against their record and ensure it’s correctly entered into the vet or vet nurse’s calendar.

A non-integrated system will mean more manual work for your team members, plus an increased risk of mistakes due to human error. So, when investigating a booking system for your practice, full integration with your PIMS should be a key consideration.

Online bookings can improve your business performance

Giving clients the opportunity to book online has several positive trickle-on effects, including:

  • Increased visits. This is driven by clients being able to quickly and easily choose a date and time that suits them best.
  • Reduced no-shows. Automated notifications linked to your booking system means clients are given appropriately timed reminders about their upcoming appointments. And, if the time no longer suits, it’s easy for them to reschedule to another time using your online booking system
  • Improved practice revenue and success. An online booking system that reduces no-shows and lifts compliance can improve business performance and help you become more attractive to customers who prefer doing things online. 

Powerful online tools complement your PIMS

petyeti booking feature. The user can search vets and book the desired vet

Some booking systems offer extra features that help you engage further with your clients and get a clearer understanding of what they need. This will give you insights to help improve your services further and grow your client base.

PetYeti, an online booking tool that integrates with both RxWorks and VisionVPM is such a tool. It allows you to manage online surveys and customer loyalty measure Net Promoter Score (NPS) through EasyEngage. It also helps you take control of your digital advertising – all from a single platform.

Being able to capture NPS data and feedback after an appointment will give you valuable insights into each client’s experience and how they view your business as result. This gives you a golden opportunity to act proactively, by rewarding them for their loyalty, for example, or following up on something that didn’t go quite right.

An online booking tool with its own digital advertising tool can also help you drive direct traffic to your practice. Utilising Google Search and Facebook campaigns, you can easily target potential clients looking for veterinary practices in your area and direct them to your website and online booking system.

petyeti user rating screen, it includes that ratings of fantastic, great, good, ok.

An online booking system is an easy way to give your customers a better online experience, making it easier for them to book a time to bring in their pet for a visit. It also streamlines your practice workflow and frees up your team members for more valuable tasks, such as attending to clients coming through your doors.

Combined with powerful booking and survey tools, such as PetYeti, you can be sure you’re maximising every client interaction. PetYeti is an Australian owned and operated, cloud-based platform that integrates seamlessly with all popular veterinary practice management systems, including RxWorks and VisionVPM.

If you’re interested in learning more about this tool and how it could benefit your practice, get in touch today.