5 tips for talking to clients about veterinary microchipping
“Many of your veterinary clients have probably heard of microchipping," says Wendy Nelson, practice manager of Cat Clinic of Norman in Norman, Okla. "But they assume it’s dangerous or out of their price range.” Here are five tips to help set the record straight and promote the procedure.
1. Advertise your message. “We scan veterinary patients for microchips at the beginning of every appointment,” Nelson says. “That way if the pet isn’t microchipped, the client will bring up the topic and start asking questions.” They also dedicated an entire quarter to promoting microchipping and decorated the reception area with posters saying, “Milk cartons aren't an option—microchips are." They offered discounts to clients with pets coming in to be spayed or neutered.
Brainstorm more ways to promote microchipping at your next staff meeting—that way every one can get involved, Nelson says.
2. Assume nothing. You have to start from the beginning. “You can’t assume your clients know anything about microchipping,” Nelson says. She suggests typing up a quick fact guide—that covers the costs and most commonly asked questions—to hand out to clients. Click here to download “FAQs about microchipping” and click here to download a sample script to use with clients.
3. Accept no excuses. “Even if the pet is an indoor cat or dog it still needs to be microchipped,” Nelson says. In fact, indoor pets especially need the tracking devices because if they run outside these pets have no idea how to return home, she says. Also, remind your clients how helpful microchips are in disaster situations. “Microchipped cats and dogs were the only pets that were successfully returned to their owners after Hurricane Katrina,” Nelson says.
4. Post success stories. You can only tell your clients so much in a 30-minute appointment. That’s why you need to use your practice’s Facebook and Twitter sites to further emphasize your point. “We post microchipping success stories with headlines like, ‘Woman reunited with cat thanks to microchip,’” Nelson says. They also post related facts like this one: Fewer than 2 percent of lost or strayed cats find their way home. When clients read these news stories, they start to see why microchipping is so important, Nelson says.
5. Watch sales soar. “Microchipping is a one-time fee at our clinic and clients are surprised at how inexpensive it is,” Nelson says. Once she registers the cat or dog, pet owners never have to worry about losing their pet. Nelson says she often scans the clinic cats so the clients can see it for themselves. “We tell them, ‘See, all of our cats here are microchipped,’” Nelson says. “Our last order for microchips doubled after the promotion. Now clients bring up the topic of microchipping before we do.”