“May your heart be light and happy, may your smile be big and wide, may this blog contain helpful information inside!” – An Irish Proverb…sort of.
Happy March! Let’s talk about what’s coming up this month and how to harness these dates and observances to entertain, educate, and engage your clinic’s clients!
Kick off the month with a Preventative Reminder! Spring will be here before you know it, and so will those pesky fleas, ticks, and mosquitos!
Employee Appreciation Day is on March 4th! Your clients LOVE the staff at your clinic - they trust them with some of their most precious and treasured friends! Celebrating your staff today is good for employee morale AND engagement with clients. Here is a fun idea: Have you heard of the Full House trend? Not only is this viral video trend hilarious, but you can easily apply it to the clinic setting! Essentially, you stitch together video clips of your staff doing work or funny things and then looking up at the camera to smile and wave, Full House intro-style. Overlay the song, add employee names, and you’ll have a great piece of content that will be entertaining and helpful for both your existing and future clients, as well as fun for staff! (Shout out to Jordyn at VHA member clinic Anderson Lakes Animal Hospital for the great idea- Thanks Jordyn!)
We know you have seen some VERY unique and sometimes downright strange pet names! March 8th is Unique Names Day and a great time to talk about names! People who name their pet something outside the realm of Bella and Socks usually have a cool story to tell behind the name. So pose the question, “What is your pet’s unique name, what does it mean, and how did you decide on it?” Chances are the unique namers will jump at the chance to talk about their sweet little Beef Shreddington, Sheriff of Snortingham and their feline friend, The Great Catsby.
Shamrocks, pots of gold, rainbows, everything green - what’s not to love about St. Patrick’s Day? I’ll admit it, the Irish saying at the beginning of this blog is not entirely traditional…but these ones are, and they definitely relate to the love we share with our pets!
“When I count my blessings, I count you twice.”
“A good friend is like a four-leaf clover, hard to find and lucky to have!”
Or my personal favorite… “Beware of people who dislike cats.”
Spring is officially back in action on March 20th! Celebrate The First Day of Spring by asking your clients what they think their pet is looking forward to most in the new season! This is also a great time to drive home your preventative reminder by alerting your clients to the dreaded springtime revival of fleas, ticks, and mosquitos!
National Puppy Day and Cuddly Kitten Day are both on March 23rd! This is the perfect chance to feature all of those new pets that have come to see you for their first exam recently. Because little puppies and kittens are so irresistible, I suggest a twofer by highlighting recent “My First Vet Visit” photos in your stories, and making a post asking clients to share photos of their pets as puppies and kittens!
Sorry not sorry for the earworm but cats deserve our R-E-S-P-E-C-T! Respect Your Cat Day is on March 28th and a great time to talk about those finicky felines. There is a lot of mystery out there surrounding cat behavior and good cat care. Pick some topics to post that you feel passionate about (it’s people who expect their cat not to scratch their couch but provide no appropriate scratching surface for me) to help cat parents be better cat parents!
Doctor’s Day is on March 30th and a great time to feature your veterinarians for many of the same reasons you celebrated your staff on March 4th! Some fun ideas for featuring your doctors could be “Facts about Dr. X You Might Not Have Known” or, if you have a multiple doctor practice, play match the pet to the vet and feature photos of your doc’s and their various personal pets!
March’s monthly observance is a doozy, Pet Poison Prevention Month!
Here are my suggestions:
Run this as a weekly feature, blog about it, or compile it into a helpful video. There is WAY too much to cover in a single post. A smart move would be to break this information down into the following subcategories:
- Medications: The Pet Poison Control Center reported medications accounted for almost 40% of calls they received in 2020
- Foods: I’m sure you feel like a broken record, but there are still people out there who need reminding.
- Plants: Houseplants are all the rage and spring bouquets will be making their way in soon. Review with clients what plants are okay and what plants are downright deadly.
- Household Items: Common cleaners, rodenticides, insecticides, antifreeze, pool chemicals, and more are all hiding in many households, and keeping them out of reach is our duty as pet parents!
Do you review your reviews? Two of your most important spots to look at reviews are Facebook and Google. When a client has a great experience and feels so impacted by the care that they received that they take the time to leave your business a review, it's good practice to respond! Responding to your reviews furthers your brand voice and has other great benefits. Not only will the reviewer get a notification that you responded (making them feel even closer to your clinic) but people who read reviews before deciding on a clinic will see that you are actively involved, fostering that sense of community we keep talking about!
While responding to the rave reviews is easy enough, everyone gets the occasional not-so-nice review. These can be particularly hard to respond to, and the answer of how to do so is situational. Here are a few tips:
- Be prompt but don’t jump into responding if you are feeling upset, defensive, or haven’t had time to think it over properly. Go back through your files, look at the case and try to set aside those gut instincts you had initially to look at it objectively.
- If the relationship is one you want to mend, give them a call to let them air their grievance. You can quickly respond to the review advising of such. Part of what a dissatisfied customer wants is to feel heard- and talking on the phone with them and listening to what they have to say can be a big help. Ask them how you move forward and come to an agreement together on what to do from here.
- If the relationship is not one you are interested in continuing (which is totally OKAY! You have enough on your plate and making accommodations for clients that bring you unnecessary grief is not a vibe we need to bring into 2022!) thank them for taking the time to provide feedback, wish them and their pet the best and move on with more important matters. While sometimes tempting, never get into a back-and-forth review argument- it just isn’t worth your time or brain space. You are a great clinic full of passionate and caring people; negative Nancy will soon be covered up by tons of great reviews!
- Enlist help. Through my professional years, soft skills have always been an interesting topic for me. Where do we draw the line between the apologetic, empathetic, and accommodating approach vs. the understanding, sympathetic, and diplomatic approach? If you need review help, let’s chat about it.
Don't have enough time to create content for all of these observances? Don't worry, we already made it for you! What does March's package include?
- 14 pieces of content for the month, including a video about Pet Poison Prevention
- A calendar complete with suggested days and text for posting
- Templates to feature photos from inside your clinic, including a fun "My First Vet Visit" template for all of those cute puppies and kittens!
- Tutorials to help you get started!
No one wants to buy something they’ve never seen before, so here is a quick preview of some of the items included in your package!
So what are you waiting for? Fill your clinic's calendar with content for March!