Over the last two posts, we’ve outlined how market forces make today the ideal time for veterinary practices to shed the old bundle-and-discount mentality and rethink wellness plan programs.

A convincing amount of data also shows these programs pay dividends to veterinary practices large and small — if practices run the programs as a strategic business tool. These practices grow compliance, build customer loyalty, and boost their bottom line. Now, let’s explore the metrics of success from veterinary practices that have rolled out substantial wellness plan programs.

Growing revenue, increasing compliance

“With over 350,000 plans in our system, we certainly have data showing individual practices, as well as small and large group practices, can enjoy significant gains, and that’s the current state,” says Bob Richardson, president of VCP, a leading veterinary solution revolutionizing how wellness plan programs drive compliance, increase practice revenue, and build client relationships. “Over the last four years, the non-Banfield corporate guys have proven that it works extremely well for practices that have not historically offered wellness plans.

Well-implemented wellness plan programs can produce 10% revenue growth for a practice in the first year — and almost triple that in three years or less, VCP has found. Owners with pets in VCP-run wellness plan programs spend an average of $900 more per year per pet, schedule more visits, and follow 90% of their vet’s recommendations. In the area of dental care, VCP has seen compliance reach 99% in wellness plan programs with a dental benefit.

Membership model builds pet owner loyalty

Aside from compliance, well-run programs provide a path to grow hospital services and to bundle care for chronic conditions, including diabetes, heart conditions, and more (We’ll talk more about this in future posts). To capitalize on the rise of the subscription economy and attract Millennials with a preference for loyalty programs, wellness plan programs should expand to include a broader membership concept, says Ron Nelson, vice president of operations with VCP.

“Wellness plan programs should be a complete and total package business strategy,” Nelson adds. “It’s more than preventive care. It is a business strategy that allows them to achieve many of the goals that they have — from compliance to pet owner education, to healthy pets, to increasing revenue, to increasing other services outside the plan, and building loyalty. It is the foundation as a business tool.”

How can veterinarians adopt a strategic wellness plan program in a busy office, with the best possible chance of success?

In our next post, we’ll cover key points that spell the difference between practices with very successful programs and those that struggle to deploy a meaningful program.

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