Accessibility is one of the most important criteria that customers want from any service provider, and customers of veterinarians are no different. It might seem obvious, but it is very important to answer the phone. When current clients want information, they will typically call the clinic. Clients without a veterinarian will typically search the internet to learn more information about what services are available and how to reach them.
The majority of a practice's growth opportunities lie with their existing customers. Therefore, answering the phone when they call is very important. Recent data shows that more than 50% of customers will do business with the first business that answers the phone. Imagine if you miss half of the calls that come in to your number!
In some recent informal market research we performed by calling more than 100 practices, we found that more than 35% of practices did not answer the phone. Some did not even have a message to direct clients to other methods of contact, but instead we received a busy signal for as long as 10 minutes with repeated tries to get through.
Marketing doesn't have to be expensive or fancy. It's as simple as answering the phone. Be accessible.