5 Veterinary Software Tools to Boost Your Team’s Productivity

6 min read

In the words of the great Albert Einstein, ‘It has become appallingly obvious that our technology has exceeded our humanity.’ The fact is, if we fail to embrace technology within our clinics, we risk falling behind the curve.

The hesitation we tend to feel is understandable. Changing from the paper-based systems we are accustomed to and have used for many years is a daunting prospect. There is a concern that we may incur extra work and take time to install the systems and train staff. The fact is, in the long-run, using veterinary software tools offers many benefits, and the time spent implementing them will only end up becoming an investment.

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Internal communication tools

Internal communication tools are one of the latest software trends to be adopted within the veterinary world. Social distancing measures and increased work-from-home policies brought to light by the COVID-19 pandemic have contributed to the rise.

These innovative programs ensure that practice staff can openly communicate with each other at all times, wherever they are. For any questions they have, they can get a near-instant response. These tools can also help managers send out company-wide memos, schedules, and information bulletins, bringing everyone closer and keeping them united.

The most popular work chat tool is Slack, which is free to use. For video calls, Google Meet or Zoom are great options. All offer the ability to talk one-to-one in private as well as in groups, which is perfect for practices of all shapes and sizes.

Website chat tools

Live webchats and pre-programmed chatbots are on the cutting edge of the technology available to veterinary practices. Chatbots are intelligent software bots that work for you 24/7, acting as a support network for your clients when you’re not available. Although chatbots can be programmed to manage the triage process or provide clients with useful information, they have their limits.

Live webchats can complement chatbots and help clients with more complex queries and concerns. In these cases, having a live webchat with automated chatbot functionality is the ideal solution. We’ve seen an increasing number of veterinary professionals use these tools on their site to add an additional communication channel to engage with pet owners.

The automated bot functionality in particular can free up busy reception teams who may otherwise have to answer queries over the phone.

Popular chat tools that feature a live chat with bot functionality include Intercom, LiveChat, and Podium.

Online booking platforms

We’ve all suffered through those long conversations over the phone with at least one client who owns eight cats. What should take one minute like a phone call to book in the pet’s annual booster ends up taking twenty as they entertain you with all of the latest anecdotes. As pleasant as it can be to catch up with clients, they don’t always realize that we have a load of work to do!

By allowing your clients to book appointments online, you can free up those phone lines. Clients also appreciate this service, which prevents them from having to wait on hold for too long. Approximately only one in four clinics currently offer this service, despite the convenience it offers clients – however, this is fast changing as modern pet owners demand the ability to book online. Offering online booking could even be the difference between a new client coming to you or a rival practice.

Some practice management systems offer online booking as an add on. However, since their focus area isn’t online booking, the features are often suboptimal.

There are also ‘Request an Appointment’ systems, which offer an affordable introduction to managing the booking process online. However, since they don’t sync with your practice management software calendar in real-time, they often create more work for admin teams, as they require manual confirmation of appointments and a lot of back and forth.

The best option (and we say this without bias 😉) is Real-Time Online Booking, such as that provided by Vetstoria’s platform. Not only is the software built by vets with the daily challenges presented in the practice in mind, but it is totally customizable to match your existing booking process. Have a veterinarian who only wants to offer routine vaccinations to cats between 9 am, and 11 am every Thursday – you got it!

Furthermore, since Vetstoria connects with your practice management software in real-time, everything is automated. Once Vetstoria is set up on your site, it will only show available appointments based on your existing practice schedule. This means pet owners can choose an appointment online and have it confirmed within seconds with no work from the admin required – time-savings galore! 😀

Digital design tools

Not all of us are artistic and imaginative, and it can be tricky to create a flyer or leaflet for pet owners that stands out from the crowd.

Instead, why not leave it up to technology? You can save your team the hours it would typically take to think up designs and color schemes by letting design tools take over. The finished product will be sleek and professional, impressing your existing clients and likely attracting new ones.

Canva is a well-known free tool that is easy to use without any training. Their simple interface can be accessed via the web to use a template for any category of designs you need, allowing for easy editing on the go.

Online payment software

Giving your clients the option of paying online is mutually beneficial for both you and them. It significantly speeds up the payment process and leaves little space for error. It also means less time counting cash and reconciling accounts; how many times has the phone rung while you’re in the middle of the coin count or taking a card payment? Clients also tend to prefer this option, viewing it as safe and convenient. With the arrival of the COVID-19 pandemic, the move away from in-person payments is also recognized as a safer way to operate.

When it comes to taking online payments, there are a few options. First is to use a payment gateway such as Paypal, Stripe, or Worldpay to take payments on a 1-to-1 basis. This can be achieved by sending a unique payment link to each pet owner (either by email or SMS). However, the drawback is that this still requires some admin time and effort to link each payment with a pet owner or appointment.

The better option would be an integrated payment solution that is part of the booking process. Vetstoria, for example, offers the ability for practices to require payments from pet owners during the online booking journey. This offers all the convenience of online payments without any of the admin work!

Final Thoughts

By using veterinary software tools to your advantage, your team will save time and boost productivity, and establish itself as the leader of the pack. There are countless available products out there that you can use to meet all of your practice needs. When these tools are used appropriately, your practice will be elevated and running like a well-oiled machine in no time!