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Customer Story

APC Veterinary Clinic transitions from walk-ins to pre-booked appointments with Vetstoria

APC Shopfront

“Vetstoria was literally one of the key things that got us through COVID and helped us function properly again.”

 

– Joe Elton, CEO & Founder, APC Veterinary Clinic

The popular low-cost veterinary clinic uses Vetstoria to handle 50% of their appointment bookings, providing much-needed virtual assistance to a small team that saw 5 staff members forced to quarantine due to COVID-19.

Challenge

APC Veterinary Clinic has been a successful walk-in only clinic for three and a half years, offering high-quality, low-cost pet care to its local communities. As shown in the photo below, their reception area has ample capacity to accommodate walk-in customers and their pets, who often happily interact with one another to make the waiting time fly by.

APC Veterinary Clinic - lobby

When COVID-19 hit, safety guidelines and social distancing measures abruptly put an end to the walk-in system, and the admin team had to start taking appointments suddenly. The overwhelming amount of phone calls relating to appointment booking and curbside arrivals soon drove staff members to the verge of burnout.

To make matters worse, five staff members were forced to quarantine due to COVID, one after another, including owner Joe Elton himself, making the transition as much a financial strain as an operational one.

One of the biggest challenges with the low-cost model is that you just have to rely on volume when your margin is lower. With all the extra steps to make the clinic COVID-secure, we took longer to see fewer patients. The busy phone lines posed the problem of people not getting through and appointments not being booked.

One solution was to increase the number of phone lines, which meant I’d have to hire more staff and find time to train them in the middle of a pandemic. We already had cases of staff burnout because of the additional work we’d have to do. I knew then that we needed a smart online booking system.

Joe Elton

– Joe Elton, CEO & Founder of APC Vet Clinic

Solution

In August 2020, APC Veterinary Clinic signed up as a customer of Vetstoria and started using the platform straight away. From day one, the admin team was relieved of hundreds of weekly phone calls relating to appointments. The team also utilized Vetstoria’s disclaimer feature, making the COVID-19 check-in and safety procedures clear, visible, and mandatory to read before pet-owners booked appointments online via the APC Veterinary Clinic website.

APC Covid disclaimer

The APC team were initially skeptical about online booking because of the initially perceived “loss of control”. However, after Joe demonstrated the platform’s highly-customizable nature, the skepticism was quickly replaced by excitement.

To drive more online booking and direct appointment inquiries away from the phone lines, the super tech-savvy Joe launched an email campaign to existing clients, announcing that online booking was now available. Similarly, with social media, Joe made sure that online booking was accessible wherever the clients could find them.

He then re-recorded the clinic’s phone greeting, informing pet-owners that online booking is quick and available 24/7. This led to a large number of last-minute and overnight bookings being captured swiftly on Vetstoria.

Having an automated booking system meant we were no longer over-burdened by the excess amount of phone calls, and it opened up our phone lines; we could get to the tasks at hand and handle the folks that are coming in.

Joe Elton
– Joe Elton, CEO & Founder, APC Veterinary Clinic

Results

  • Over 400 appointments (approximately 50% of all appointments) are made online via Vetstoria monthly, saving the admin team hours daily and showing that pet owners embrace the convenience and ease of use.
  • APC has found a new normal after losing the ability to accommodate walk-ins, and Vetstoria is helping them maintain business as usual, to everyone’s relief.

I’ve been incredibly lucky to be able to keep the business open, keep all my employees in their jobs, and pay all our bills. A lot of folks can’t say that right now. I don’t think we could have done this without Vetstoria.

Joe Elton
– Joe Elton, CEO & Founder, APC Veterinary Clinic

About

Based in Ohio, USA, APC Veterinary Clinic of Barberton and the Greater Akron Area is a high-quality, low-cost veterinary clinic offering preventative, diagnostic, and spay/neuter services.

Locations

1 location based in Barberton, Ohio

Practice Management System

Key Features Used

Real-Time Online Booking