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Case Study

NVA saves thousands of hours on phone calls and gains over 100,000 new clients with Vetstoria.

NVA Locations

1,000+

hours of phone calls saved every month

100k+

new clients

½ million+

booked appointments

Generated through Vetstoria across the NVA group from August 2016 to February 2020

To meet the ever-growing expectations of modern pet owners, National Veterinary Associates adopted real-time online appointment booking, becoming one of the first corporate veterinary groups in the USA to do so. The positive impact is evident, with thousands of front-desk staff hours saved and a massive increase in new client acquisition.

Challenge

Before engaging with Vetstoria, NVA clients were limited in how they booked appointments with NVA hospitals or pet resorts, with the process relying heavily on traditional phone lines.

Some hospitals had a “Request an Appointment” form on their website, but the forms lacked a connection to a Practice Management System (PIMS) and were, therefore, unable to show clients available appointments in real-time.

Another drawback surfaced when clients expressed dissatisfaction at waiting for confirmation, which could take up to a full day in some cases. The back-and-forth of finding a suitable appointment also consumed time and energy for the front-desk team, so it was evident that the approach needed improving.

“A handful of locations were using reminder systems that included online booking functionality, but most weren’t able to integrate with the hospital’s PIMS.

In some cases, the pet owner needed to have a log-in before they could even book online. Having to set up an entire account first was a barrier for allowing new clients to book online.

We wanted to start driving more visits to practices and offer clients the convenience and flexibility to book at any time and secure that appointment slot in our PIMS.”

Cindy Hoffman

Cindy Hoffman, Marketing Manager, National Veterinary Associates

Solution

The NVA team identified a need to make the transition to real-time online appointment booking and identified Vetstoria as the only solution to achieve their goals. Yang Shi, Head of Technology at National Veterinary Associates, explained:

“These days everyone wants to be able to book online, on-demand, such as with Open Table. That isn’t easy to do with our PIMS software, so we needed a solution outside of it that could integrate. We required a system that would accurately display our booking schedule, while also providing the flexibility to control what’s shown, rather than opening up the entire calendar.

Additionally, we wanted an excellent user experience, and user interface for clients. Finally, as a group of over 500 hospitals, we needed robust central administration capabilities for monitoring purposes.

We evaluated a few solutions and ultimately selected Vetstoria. The Vetstoria platform enables any pet owner to select and confirm an appointment in just a few simple steps, which appealed to the hospital team.”

Yang Shi

Yang Shi, Head of Technology, National Veterinary Associates

Seamless and flexible integration across the NVA group

Many practices under the NVA umbrella are managed autonomously, using unique technology stacks, including different practice management systems (PIMS). In the case of NVA, both Covetrus-AVIMark and Idexx-Cornerstone are used across the group.

Thankfully, the platform-agnostic nature of Vetstoria meant that regardless of what PIMS an NVA practice was using, the functionality available, onboarding process, and support offered was the same.

NVA-corpoerate-dashboard-mockup avimark cornerstone

Additionally, the centralized Corporate Dashboard feature offered by Vetstoria enabled the head office to monitor online booking performance across all of NVA’s practices.

Implementation of Vetstoria across digital channels and devices

The NVA marketing team, with the support of Vetstoria’s onboarding team, did a great job of ensuring that Vetstoria was implemented effectively across their group’s digital channels, maximizing the potential performance of online appointment booking.

“We embedded the Vetstoria appointment booking functionality in multiple areas, including Google My Business, Facebook, and Yelp. Most clients access it directly from our website.

Cindy Hoffman, Marketing Manager, National Veterinary Associates

broadview google facebook yelp
Integrated with most directories and social media outlets

Vetstoria also enables us to include a Smart Link in our text and email reminders, which auto-populates the client’s info when they click. We found that 63% of those clicking-through complete a booking, which is one of the highest rates I’ve seen.

Cindy Hoffman, Marketing Manager, National Veterinary Associates

phone text message with smart link@2x-100
The smart link will pre-fill the booking platform

Additionally, 56% of appointments booked online are via a mobile device. We made sure all hospitals fully optimize, so the ‘Schedule an Appointment’ link appears prominently on their mobile site.”

Cindy Hoffman, Marketing Manager, National Veterinary Associates

Total control facilitated by appointment screening and customization

Vetstoria’s unique, customizable appointment screening functionality dynamically displays warnings to clients as they book appointments. NVA utilized this feature to prevent clients from booking specific procedures that required advanced screening by prompting them to call the practice.

configuration vetstoria@2x-100
Customization replicates receptionist's own process

“I’ve built up appointment screening in a thousand different ways at this point! I built off what Vetstoria had initially and added a lot of keywords for different procedures that are very common in our hospitals that require anesthesia.

I also created keywords for possible urgent care conditions and added some informative keywords that’ll show up on the email confirmation for urine and stool samples. Hospitals appreciate it, and they will build on those keywords even further.”

Cindy Hoffman, Marketing Manager, National Veterinary Associates

keyword tracking blue gif
No limit in no. of sensitive words or messages

Results

Over half a million appointments booked through Vetstoria

As of February 2020, NVA uses Vetstoria across 340 locations, with as many as 40% of appointments booked online at some practices. So far, over half a million appointments have been booked through Vetstoria across all NVA locations.

nva new clients total bookings 2016 -2109@2x-100
Booking numbers rounded up to the nearest 10-thousands

100k+ new clients acquired through Vetstoria

Over 20% of all appointments booked online across NVA’s group are from new clients, with more than 100,000 new clients booking through Vetstoria from August 2016 to February 2020.

Over $200 million in lifetime revenue from new clients

Based on NVA’s average client lifetime value and the 100k+ new clients acquired since implementing the tool, an eye-watering $200+ million of lifetime revenue has been generated through Vetstoria to date.

1,000+ hours of phone calls saved every month

On average, it takes five and a half minutes for a pet owner to book an appointment over the phone (reference). Assuming that NVA can save five and a half minutes of staff time with every online booking, and considering that over half a million bookings have been completed through Vetstoria over 36 months, NVA saves more than 1,000 working hours every month by using Vetstoria.

This freeing of time ensures that more time can be allocated for tasks with higher priority. Therefore it’s no surprise when practice staff are onboard. One of NVA’s practices, Broadview Animal Clinic, is a fantastic example of a forward-thinking team that is behind online scheduling.

“Vetstoria has been a phenomenal addition to our practice. It really helps streamline the appointment booking process for clients and mitigates some of the obstacles we faced in practice before utilizing Vetstoria as our preferred online booking partner.”

Justin Hashagen

Justin Hashagen, Practice Manager at Broadview Animal Clinic

Some of Broadview Animal Clinic's numbers:

1,500+ new clients acquired over a 2-year period
51% of bookings made out of hours

Final words from NVA

“The clients really love it, and after the hospitals got used to it, they have found it extremely valuable.

The Vetstoria team is responsive and pleasant to deal with and I appreciate the company’s focused dedication to online booking.”

Yang Shi, Head of Technology, National Veterinary Associates

About

NVA is the largest veterinary and pet care organization in the USA. NVA partners with over 500 general practice hospitals with 14,000 team members and 2,600 veterinarians.
https://www.nva.com/

Locations

500+ general practice hospitals, plus specialists, emergency hospitals, equine hospitals, and pet resorts in North America.

Practice Type

Corporate 

Practice Management Systems

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