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Customer Story

AniCura reduces admin work and improves customer satisfaction with Vetstoria online booking

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“It’s highly important for AniCura to support its people with technology. If we can reduce the admin work for them so that they can focus on the core business whilst satisfying customer needs, it’s a win-win.”

 

– Martin Kedbäck, Group Customer Experience at AniCura

AniCura, a member of the Mars Petcare family and one of Europe’s leading providers of veterinary care for companion animals with 350 clinics and 2,800 veterinarians, has a strong vision to shape the future of veterinary care through passionate employees, high-end medical care, and excellent customer service.

To help achieve their vision, the group’s management team decided to implement Vetstoria’s online booking platform in a number of their practices. The benefits so far have been reduced admin work and improved customer satisfaction.

Challenge

The demand for pet care has sky-rocketed across Europe. To ensure individual AniCura practices could maintain their 3-point strategy of a ‘high level of medical care’ and ‘excellent customer service’ delivered by ‘passionate employees,’ implementing appropriate technological solutions was a necessity.

AniCura recognised that saving time spent manually booking appointments at the front desk was an area where technology could help, in particular through online booking. However, the intricate integration with a practice’s PMS (Practice Management Software) is a concern, since AniCura practices use a wide range of systems across their European locations.

Solution

During their search for a solution the AniCura team became aware of Vetstoria, the industry-leading appointment booking platform that connects with more veterinary practice management systems than any other, and signed up in 2018.

Vetstoria’s implementation team then worked with AniCura’s management to map out a practice roll-out plan. Following that, Vetstoria’s onboarding agents worked with each individual practice to ensure they were ready to go live with online booking, helping them customise the platform to meet their needs.

Vetstoria is customisable enough to replicate each practice’s existing workflow, allowing specific days and times to be excluded, or only allowing certain appointments to be booked during set hours or with specific clinicians. The automation rules work in the background, triaging patients in the same way a receptionist would over the phone, so precious time is saved for the front desk.

Furthermore, on an ongoing basis, AniCura practices have 24/7 access to support and a dedicated customer success manager who is responsible for their success. On a quarterly basis, the Vetstoria team meets with AniCura management to review progress across the portfolio of locations and provide key actionable insights that benefit the business.

Results

1. Many hours of admin time saved for the front desk

Pet owners booking routine appointments online has a direct impact on reducing inbound call volume. One of the key obstacles to providing a more intimate, caring service is lack of time. Even if it is an extra 10-minutes spent reassuring a worried pet owner without pausing to answer the phone it makes a difference.

Brigit Voshaar, Clinical Director at AniCura Dierenziekenhuis Oldenzaal in the Netherlands knows this well. This is what she had to say:

“Online booking saves time! There’s always a lack of time and we could really feel the easing of the pressure during our busy opening hours. Imagine 40 calls less in a week saves us at least 2 hours/week.”

Brigit Voshaar
Brigit Voshaar – Clinical Director
AniCura Dierenziekenhuis Oldenzaal – Netherlands

Dierenziekenuis

The admin time saved for AniCura clinics has already been great. Calculated based on the total number of appointments booked and the average time to book a phone appointment, many hours are saved for admin teams across the locations each month.

Anicura Performance Graph 1
(*Based on Vetstoria data (from 30 AniCura locations) and clinic supplied information)

One of the key objectives for Michaela Wickman, Group Digital Project Manager, Customer Experience at AniCura is to help increase the implementation and usage of Vetstoria across territories.

“You have to be up and running when it comes to digital solutions. Vetstoria makes the workflow efficient, that’s really important. We aim to get more clinics to use online booking, for example, in Denmark, we have 8 users today but we hope to increase it to 23 by the end of the year.”

 Michaela Wickman
Michaela Wickman – Group Digital Project Manager, Customer Experience
AniCura

The time-saving benefit is particularly felt during Covid times at the front desk. Receptionist Sofia Berg from AniCura Djurdoktorn i Linköping in Sweden told us:

“During Covid-19, a nearby clinic only took emergency visits, so the pressure on us became much greater, mainly by telephone. We get more vaccinations and less urgent visits. So online booking was a huge relief.”

Sofia Berg
Sofia Berg – Receptionist
AniCura Djurdoktorn i Linköping – Sweden

Anicura sweden
(AniCura Djurdoktorn i Linköping, Sweden)

2. Customer satisfaction is boosted by online booking

AniCura conducts bi-annual customer satisfaction surveys which conduct in-depth investigations into how clinics are performing across the continent. There is a clear trend according to Michaela:

“Clinics that offer more digital solutions such as digital reminders and online booking score higher. If you send out digital reminders, you would expect people to book online which gives clients the convenience they are accustomed to, especially in the Nordics where even breast scans are scheduled digitally.”

 Michaela Wickman
Michaela Wickman – Group Digital Project Manager, Customer Experience
AniCura

3. Great control and customisation for clinic employees

Prior to using online booking, many AniCura clinics expressed concerns about losing control if their practice’s schedule was opened up to the public. They saw, however, that this was not the case. 

Appointment types, duration, clinician preference, time-slot blocking, and many parameters on which a clinic’s actual workflow is based can all be replicated on Vetstoria’s platform. For example, this is how Libbe Soelbeck a Veterinary Nurse at AniCura Varde in Denmark sets up the rules:

“90% of bookings are 20-minute vaccinations and 30-minute ear checks. Monday and Friday afternoons are blocked for online booking so there’s flexibility for emergencies.”

 Libbe Soelbeck
Libbe Soelbeck – Veterinary Nurse
AniCura Varde – Denmark

AniCura-Varde

Sofia at Djurdoktorn i Linköping in Sweden has her own way of setting up rules:

“We only add bookable times before lunch, two-hours per vet, then you have the opportunity to keep the animal if it’s complicated. The smart triage system works well to filter out emergencies. However, we read the descriptions ‘reason for the visit’ and if we feel it could be more complicated than it sounds, we give them a call.”

Sofia Berg
Sofia Berg – Receptionist
AniCura Djurdoktorn i Linköping – Sweden

Brigit utilises a very targeted and controlled feature on Vetstoria – direct booking links that take the pet owner straight to booking the specific promotion, with known details pre-filled.

Automatically Generated Booking Link and QR Code
(Automatically Generated Booking Link and QR Code)

“We send out postcards with a QR code to the booking system for annual vaccinations, as well as SMS messages with smart links. It’s a good way to keep existing customers engaged, but online booking is also great for getting new customers, although we have plenty!” We let all our customers know that they can book an appointment online when they call us. They first hear a tape which tells them that you also can book your appointment online.”

Brigit Voshaar
Brigit Voshaar – Clinical Director
AniCura Dierenziekenhuis Oldenzaal – Netherlands

AniCura Performance Graph 2
(*Based on Vetstoria data (from 30 AniCura locations) and clinic supplied information)

By adding a “book appointment” button, new clients are captured and a practice’s marketing efforts are enhanced.

4. Multiple practice management software integrations make Vetstoria the ideal solution

As of today, Vetstoria integrates with close to 30 practice management software (PMS) globally and the list is growing. It’s important for AniCura to have one booking tool that works with the many systems their practices use, as it gives a uniformed approach to the digital experience they offer customers and makes monitoring of performance across the portfolio much easier.

Michaela supports these points:

“The PMS ultimately decides whether the solution is going to work or not. European countries operate in very different and individualistic ways, which is why it’s hard to implement a uniformed decision from the top down. Vetstoria’s PMS-agnostic way provides some form of uniformity which is a big plus. Vetstoria is very agile and solution-oriented. It’s of great help that Vetstoria constantly adds more integrations into its library.”

 Michaela Wickman
Michaela Wickman – Group Digital Project Manager, Customer Experience
AniCura

And her colleague Martin is also an advocate of Vetstoria’s multiple integrations:

“I think the PMS interdependence is a key – as our infrastructure is varying a lot and will continue to do so as we grow at a very rapid pace. We are giving the necessity of online booking some good attention now so we can get more and more out of Vetstoria on a corporate level.”

Martin Kedbäck
Martin Kedbäck – Group Customer Experience
AniCura

To learn more about Vetstoria, or to see how it can work for your business, book a personalised demo with one of our product specialists today.

About

Headquartered in Sweden, AniCura (part of the Mars Petcare family), is one of Europe’s leading providers of high-quality veterinary care for companion animals.

Locations

350 locations across Northern and Western Europe.

Practice Management System

Various 

Key Features Used

Real-Time Online Booking