What does the Ideal client look like for you?
If the client is a veterinary hospital, ideally they would have some sort of online scheduling tool and a large enough customer base to make this feasible.
If the client is what we call a customer or pet parent, the vast majority of our interactions own a cat or dog and are not concerned about something that has happened. Often, their call or text is after hours or from work.
Who usually approaches you?
We do a large percentage of calls from first time pet owners as well as shelter parents, as we provide services to a rather large shelter company.
What kinds of questions do they have?
The largest segment of callers will be responding to signs and symptoms they are seeing in their pet. Call mix (in order of prevalence) in terms of sub-categories:
- Signs and symptoms
- Medication Questions
- Disease questions (often a new diagnosis or new escalated symptoms)
- Healthy pet care
What onboarding strategies do you have?
Some of our clients partners send demographic data to us on their population prior to launching with whiskerDocs. We often create partner specific landing pages for pet parents to register their pet and give basic information such as pet, breed, age, and more. Other partners will utilize dedicated toll free number (provided by whiskerDocs) or inserts in pet adoption packets that provide pet parents with a free call.
What suggestions would you have for clinics interested in using your tools?
Explore using the service after-hours only or with the addition of 'overflow' for calls that are coming in during business hours. Consider allowing for/creating a process for scheduling appointments, since a large portion of the calls into us will result in the need for an appointment. If the clinic does not have scheduling software available online, there are other methods to schedule appointments during the call with us. This is a key satisfier to the caller (the ability to get an appointment scheduled immediately if it is warranted)
What does the business model for the veterinarian look like?
This depends on how the service is used. I would recommend a blended product that includes:
- Decision support service, which essentially triages the call and then can make an appointment for the caller when warranted. This service is staffed by veterinary technicians.
- The second part of the service is virtual Veterinary Consult, which is paid for by the pet parent. This would be an 'after hours' service. During the consult, a diagnosis might be made and a medication suggested that could be picked up at the veterinarian's office or at their local pharmacy. A prescription could be written by our veterinary team or by the primary veterinary clinic. A follow up appointment or needed hands-on appointment would be scheduled.
How often to virtual exams result in in-person exams?
This is an estimate--likely 30%. If a follow up exam is scheduled then perhaps a bit higher.