Churchfield Vets is a thriving practice that has been serving its local community since the 1930s. With five surgeries spread throughout South and West Yorkshire, they are well placed to cover any veterinary care needs across equine and companion animal care.
Like many modern veterinary practices, Churchfield Vets recognised the need to move from time-consuming manual operations to an automated practice management solution to improve their business processes and lift practice revenue.
In 2016, they switched from a basic software solution to RoboVet, a practice management software solution offered by Covetrus. RoboVet is a sophisticated suite of modules that covers every aspect of practice management, allowing practices to drive business performance and stay one step ahead of their competition.
Rapport is a key module offered as part of RoboVet. This premier client communications solution is designed to increase practice efficiency, improve patient care, enhance practice image and boost the flow of clients into a practice.
Rapport streamlines and automates essential client communication
Churchfield Vets Practice Manager, Rachel Ingham, says: “We switched over to RoboVet in September 2016 and shortly after signed up for the full package of Rapport, which included the online booking facility and the ability to run marketing campaigns.” Rachel explains that prior to RoboVet, her multi-site practice was experiencing some challenges with their current solution, particularly with software compatibility. “We are a completely mixed practice and we needed a system that could manage the diversity of our requirements,” she says. This included a shared diary across all five sites and a consolidated financial solution.
After implementing RoboVet and seeing some immediate benefits, Rachel saw the advantages that a top-flight client communications solution could deliver. It was a natural transition to move to the fully-compatible Rapport client communications module, which responds instantly to clients’ online appointment bookings with text or email confirmations, then updates the practice appointment calendar automatically.
Rachel explains how her practice uses Rapport’s automated communication tools as part of their daily operations: “Rapport sends out reminders for the flea and worming products that we have specified to clients, as well as vaccinations. They go out daily, based on the date of the service provided, or when a product was purchased.
“This gives us a steady stream of booked vaccination appointments and products purchased, rather than the old manual system of doing a reminder run each month.”
Rachel says that with Rapport clients now get text and email reminders for upcoming appointments, which helps reduce the number of missed appointments. “Campaigns are really easy to do and a much greater target audience can be reached at a reasonably low cost,” she adds.
With support from her dedicated Rapport Campaign Consultant where necessary, Rachel identifies what campaign she wants to run, then pulls a client list from the database. A proof of each campaign element is then produced, covering any media, text messages, emails or postcards. Once everything has been checked, the automated campaign is then quickly and easily activated.
Since March 2017, Churchfield Vets has run nine successful campaigns, covering vaccination amnesties, the promotion of new services, a change of opening times and client evenings. The speed of delivering a campaign through Rapport is impressive. Rachel says that her most recent campaign took just two hours to build. “It’s very easy and once it’s approved it goes out immediately. The phone nearly rang off the hook with our last campaign!”
The online booking facility is currently used mainly by clients when they receive their booster reminder, but Rachel says she is seeing an increasing number using it for booking general appointments, especially after hours. “This is valuable, as when we are closed clients are able to look online at their leisure and book an appointment for a time that suits them. We have also received some bookings from new clients, who registered via our website,” she adds.
Time and cost savings plus quick response times key benefits of Rapport
Rachel says she and her team enjoy the ease of use and functionality that Rapport offers. “It is immensely easy,” she says, “there is no more toing and froing.” The time saving has been the biggest benefit, and the cost savings that accompany this.
“The time saving is the best feature. All the functionality to run a campaign or communication is already there and automated – you just have to add it,” she says. Rachel says from personal experience that doing all the client communication tasks manually would take hours of work every month to print everything, put the letters into envelopes, and then frank the mail.
“It would take a good afternoon to do all the booster reminders, then another afternoon doing dental, and another for overdues. Since Rapport, I’ve never missed the first of the month deadline and I don’t have to chase overdues or remind clients constantly in order to increase compliance,” Rachel adds. “The old, manual process was expensive and labour intensive.” Rachel also enjoys how quickly she is able to respond with promotions, as suppliers can sometimes drop offers on her practice at short notice.
She says another great benefit is that clients don’t receive their communications all together at a particular time of the month. With Rapport, they receive relevant, timely communication at exactly the right timing in the reminder or recall schedule. This, in turn, has led to fewer missed appointments and avoided a deluge of calls into the surgery once a month.
The RoboVet and Rapport combination has also resulted in increased product sales, as clients are prompted and reminded of the necessity of compliance in the regular communication cycle. The solution has also stopped leakage of product supplied as part of pet health plans, as there is instant visibility of what clients have already received – alerting staff of potential double-ups.
Rachel says she wouldn’t hesitate to recommend RoboVet, with Rapport. “I am very happy with Rapport and would recommend its use alongside Robovet,” she says. “It’s very good financially for any practice, it’s a brilliant system.”