What Is Your Wellness Plan Optional Services Strategy?
Now that you have completed written standards of care based on age and species, these will become the core service offerings of your wellness plans (last Week’s Post). The next step is to consider other services that would add value to your plans for significant portions of these populations. A well thought out wellness plan offering not only provides for the preventive care needs of pets at each stage of their life, but also provides pet owners with options that may be needed for their specific pet, lifestyle or surroundings. The addition of optional services provides the opportunity to “customize” based on individual pet needs.
If you aren’t sure what we mean by optional services, consider the most basic – spay, neuter and microchip options for puppy and kitten plans. But what may be a little less obvious, is that these are also very popular options in adult plans as well. It is amazing how many pet owners have young adult dogs that aren’t yet fixed, but when you offer it to them as an option in a plan where they can make monthly payments, they are eager to enroll and have it taken care of. And a microchip…well that is an important option at any age; who can say no to having their pet microchipped when it costs an additional $4.00 to $5.00 per month?
Dentistry is another obvious option to offer in your plans, and in fact it is not uncommon for practices to double or triple their dentistry revenue with the introduction of wellness plans! The most advantageous way to add dentistry is to base it on grade 1-2 dental disease and include full mouth radiographs (if available). For extensive dental disease, or if it is expected that oral surgery and extractions will be needed, the client would still need to be provided with a treatment plan and pay for those services at the time of the procedure. Or you could also add optional generalized extraction packages if you are concerned that the additional lump sum costs would be a barrier to care. Of course, the key is to explain to clients that as long as their pet stays on the plan, and gets a dental procedure annually, there will most likely be very few outside costs in the future.
Other staples include things like flea/tick/heartworm preventative, additional diagnostics (think breed specific genetic disease risks) and preventive ultrasound scans for seniors, just to name a few.
While most professionals enter the veterinary industry to follow their dream of helping animals, it is important to find those tools and programs that help animals, but also help ensure the practice is strong. A successful practice will be there to help more animals tomorrow, and your optional services strategy is an opportunity to promote services that will further enhance wellness, while at the same time increase revenue for the practice.
Cross promoting other services or specialties may be the perfect option to add to a wellness plan program. What do we mean? Maybe you offer puppy grooming sessions as a plan option to promote your grooming services. Or what about a monthly bath option? Training classes, nutritional counseling, holistic treatments? You get the idea! Always remember to view wellness as more than just a plan; it is a far-reaching membership program that educates pet owners and enables them to provide the care that they want for their pets, while building loyalty and revenue for the practice.
When it comes to your optional services offering, make sure to include the basics but also think outside the box and highlight services that make your practice unique.
In next week’s post, we will re-visit strategic pricing and discounting considerations (click here to see our original blog on the topic from December 2015), and then take you on a two-week Branding and Marketing adventure, so stay tuned!