Customer Story

Stokewood Veterinary Centre reduces no-shows by 100% with Vetstoria payments

General facts about no-shows

53%

of no-shows are from new-client appointments

(Survey carried out with Vetstoria customers)

43%

of the customers believe that putting down a deposit would combat no-shows

(Survey carried out with Vetstoria customers)

"It started during Covid, when we had 59 no-shows per month. But after using Vetstoria, we had none! The payments feature has been great for us."

Maddie Plugaru, Director and Business Manager - Stokewood Veterinary Centre

Located in Dorset, U.K., Stokewood Veterinary Centre is one of the very few practices that remains an independent family-owned veterinary practice, with service spanning more than 35 years in the veterinary industry. Continuity of care is one of the hallmarks of their practice, whereby providing personal, caring, and professional service is a guarantee for every client. It is interesting to note that Stokewood also offers VIP membership health care plans to ensure the best level of care for pets!

Challenges

Stokewood’s major challenge was the number of no-shows for appointments booked by new clients. Even after confirming their appointment, multiple pet-owners wouldn’t show up at the clinic on time. This number was at an all-time high of 59 no-shows per month!

Just imagine how much time it takes for the front-desk staff to rearrange veterinary doctors, technicians, and other staff schedules as well as clarify the reason for the no-show with the pet owner, and reschedule the appointment for a later date, all while looking into emergency situations at the practice and answering routine phone calls. Looks like there’s no break in sight! Not to mention the loss in revenue for the practice when such no-shows occur.

Of course, we need to consider that these no-shows may occur due to personal or other reasons the pet owner did not foresee, such as Covid or lockdown restrictions that hinder travel — or simply because they forgot! Regardless, this pressing issue had to be challenged head-on. That’s when Stokewood turned to Vetstoria for help.

Solution

“I installed Vetstoria’s payments feature at the first opportunity. It’s a lifesaver for our practice. There’s so much uncertainty in the world, so it’s better to have an appointment guarantee.”


Maddie Plugaru, Director and Business Manager – Stokewood Veterinary Centre

Contactless or online payments are on the rise because people consider it an easy way to pay, and businesses have a much easier time collecting them.

Vetstoria’s online payments feature offers two types of payment methods. The first is a full payment, where the pet owner pays the standard appointment fee in full prior to the appointment confirmation. The second is to charge a deposit, which is either a percentage of the estimated cost of the appointment or a flat fee prior to appointment confirmation. It’s a quick setup, and all payment data is kept secure with Stripe, which is a secure way to make all online transactions. Our support team is poised to help you get started with all these and more.

💡Pro tip from Maddie:

Charging a small percentage of the appointment fee creates better commitment from the pet owner. In terms of a cancellation policy, it can be 50% refundable if canceled within 48 hours or non refundable if canceled within 24 hours to further cut down on no-shows.

With Vetstoria’s online payments feature, Stokewood was able to provide pet owners with the convenience of paying for appointments online versus paying on arrival at the clinic. Charging a deposit prior to the appointment is a simple yet effective method to ensure pet owner commitment and participation for their appointment, which saves time and enhances efficiency at the practice, proving to be an absolute game-changer!

Results

Achieving zero no-shows per month

“It’s straightforward. After checking our stats, we discovered that we had zero no-shows since launching the feature.”


Maddie Plugaru, Director and Business Manager – Stokewood Veterinary Centre

Thanks to the deposit payment option provided by Vetstoria, Stokewood saw a drastic drop in the number of no-shows at the practice: from 59 no-shows per month to absolutely none! This meant that the practice created an appointment guarantee, recouped what would have been lost revenue, and saved time, paving the way for overall efficiency and smooth management!

Time-saver for front-desk staff

“My receptionists were really happy when we implemented Vetstoria’s online payments. It only takes a few minutes for pet owners to book, and their booking is live and easily integrates with the calendar — and there’s simply nothing to worry about because it’s prepaid!”


Maddie Plugaru, Director and Business Manager – Stokewood Veterinary Centre

Offering Vetstoria’s online payments for all their appointments and being able to charge a deposit prior to the appointment confirmation meant that Stokewood reduced its high phone call volume at the front desk. Staff no longer had to chase down customers to make the payment, which is a massive time-saver in their hectic daily schedules. We’re glad to be able to give the hardworking Stokewood staff a break from the noisy phones!

Personalized deposit setup and easy installation

“Installation didn’t take longer than two minutes. And with Stripe, you can check if clients have dropped out from the booking process before making a payment, so you can see that at least 95% of clients pay for their appointment upfront.”


Maddie Plugaru, Director and Business Manager – Stokewood Veterinary Centre

Stokewood Veterinary Centre is able to charge deposits based on the type of appointments offered (telemedicine, consultation, etc.). The fact that they could easily set up their deposit fee requirement via Vetstoria’s payments feature was a plus! This deposit can be offered to new clients and returning clients alike, and all transaction data, reports, and history are safely stored and can be accessed by the practice at any time.

The best example of this is Stockwood’s VIP membership program that is based on a monthly subscription fee, which has received overwhelming praise from pet owners. When transactions are involved, the practice experiences no confusion or difficulty in managing both the VIP members and their usual clientele.

With a quick installation and setup, Stokewood Veterinary Centre was ready to get going!

Meeting pet owners’ expectations

Contactless or digital payment methods is the new norm, so being stuck in traditional or physical payments methods can put a hamper on your practice growth because you’ll be busy spending too much time on payment collection, which may lead to bad debts and payment reconciliation.

Vetstoria’s payments feature not only helped from a practice point of view by encouraging a 100% client satisfaction rate (based on Vetstoria system data for the past six months), the clients at Stokewood were also very happy with the online payment option offered to them.

“We have very good feedback from our clients, who appreciate being able to book outside or normal business hours, especially for Monday morning appointments, which are very difficult since receptions are busy. so they were very happy and we had no decline in new client appointments.”


Maddie Plugaru, Director and Business Manager – Stokewood Veterinary Centre

There was no reduction in returning client appointments at Stokewood either, as the new features were well received by pet owners. Some were even willing to pay the full amount prior to appointment confirmation because they found the feature that much easier to use!

It’s safe to say that it’s been a resounding success for Stokewood Veterinary Centre’s integration with Vetstoria’s payments feature. As for Stokewood’s future plans, they will continue to promote appointment booking outside of regular business hours, as it is more convenient for both the pet owner and the practice.

“After seeing feedback from clients and staff, working with Stripe and Vetstoria at the same time has turned out to be very easy. Funds are received the next day, and the system integrates well with our PIMS. I wouldn’t have it any other way!”


Maddie Plugaru, Director and Business Manager – Stokewood Veterinary Centre

About

Located in Dorset, U.K., Stokewood Veterinary Centre is one of the very few practices that remains an independent family-owned veterinary practice, with service spanning more than 35 years in the veterinary industry. Continuity of care is one of the hallmarks of their practice, whereby providing personal, caring, and professional service is a guarantee for every client. It is interesting to note that Stokewood also offers VIP membership health care plans to ensure the best level of care for pets!

Locations

Dorset, U.K.

Practice Type

Independent

Practice Management System

Key Features Used

Payments