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How Digital Queuing Systems Improve the Customer Experience at Vets, Pet Stores, and Animal Shelters

23 million American and 3.2 million British households acquired a pet during the coronavirus pandemic.

A secondary effect of this pet ownership boom is that vets, pet stores, groomers, and animal shelters can expect to be a lot busier.

If you run an organization that revolves around the health and happiness of pets and their owners, the smoother you can make the customer experience, the less stressful it will be for everyone involved.

This is especially important for veterinary clinics, whose clientele are naturally going to be anxious about their beloved pet’s health. Providing them and their pet with exceptional care and attention is going to make the customer journey a much smoother experience for them, their pets, and your staff.

A virtual queuing system empowers organizations that work with animals to reduce wait times and patient stress through automated patient reminders, virtual queuing, and much more.

Here’s a closer look at how virtual queuing can help vets, pet stores, and animal shelters transform the customer experience.

How Digital Queuing Systems Improve the Customer Experience at Vets Pet Stores and Animal Shelters_ACFtechnologies_bl_us_en_2
Virtual queuing

Anyone who’s had to bundle their pet up and drag them to the vet knows how anxious an experience that can be for an animal. A long stay in the waiting room once a patient arrives on your premises only exacerbates the problem and certainly isn’t fun for pets or their owners.

A virtual queuing system allows pet owners to check in remotely from their smartphone and then wait with their pet from the comfort of their own home.

Once they’ve joined a virtual queue, a customer will be automatically updated about their place in line, the estimated wait time, and when they should arrive for their appointment through SMS messages and push notifications.

And if there’s a delay, they can wait at home rather than in a waiting room full of anxious pets and their stressed-out owners, who are all fretting over when it’s going to be their pet’s turn to be seen.

Having fewer animals in your waiting area also creates a much calmer environment for people who do choose to wait on site.

Customer care

Keeping in touch with customers every step of the way will help them through what could be a tough experience.

Systems like Q-Anywhere keep pet owners up to date every step of the way through mobile notifications and digital displays that can be installed in your waiting room. Instead of being left fretting about when their pet will be seen, customers are automatically kept up to date about wait times and where they are in line.

When it’s time to come and pick up a pet after grooming or surgery, customers simply receive an SMS or notification letting them know what time to return to your premises. This makes the whole process as streamlined as possible, keeping stress to a minimum for both pets and their owners.

Virtual appointments even allow vets to hop on a quick video call with owners so they can check in with their beloved pets during overnight stays. This kind of peace of mind is invaluable to owners who are anxious about their pet’s wellbeing and a personal touch that won’t go unnoticed.

Automated check-in

Online forms also help streamline the check-in process by giving pet owners the option to fill out all their pet’s basic information, medical history, and what care they need before they arrive for their appointment.

This will reduce the number of people on your premises at any one time, reducing the perceived wait times for each customer. Plus, it will ensure everyone has access to all their pet’s details, as they’ll have any supporting documents to hand at home.

What’s more, incomplete and incorrect forms won’t be accepted by an online system, meaning customers won’t have to go through the frustrating experience of having to fill out their pet’s details twice if they make a mistake the first time round.

And once these details are in your system, they can instantly be accessed by your staff whenever that pet needs care, significantly speeding up the check-in process.

Less-stressed staff

All these enhancements don’t just improve things for your customers and their pets, either. A less busy and hectic workplace is a much more pleasant environment for your staff.

Because customer communications and check-in is largely automated through a queue management system, that frees your staff up to fully focus on providing the best care and customer experience to everyone who walks through the door.

And queuing systems can help automatically assign pets to the right person and fast track urgent cases up the queue with the minimum of fuss, making your staffs’ job a lot easier.

Everyone who works with animals wants the best for them and for them to suffer through as little stress as possible. Queue management software helps your staff provide a smooth service centered around every pets' health and happiness, freeing your team to do what they do best – look after animals.

Improve your service (and boost the bottom line)

A virtual queuing system also empowers your organization with the tools to refine the customer experience based on real-time customer feedback.

For example, Q-Flow collects real-time customer satisfaction data through push notifications and SMS messages that are triggered after someone has brought their pet into your vet or groomer.

This provides you with invaluable feedback on everything from the friendliness of your staff to the quality of the care they feel their pet received. You can use this data to tweak your approach and measure the impact in real time, helping to create as pleasant an environment as possible for the pets that use your service and their owners.

Q-Flow also arms your organization with data you can use to identify peaks and troughs in customer activity for the time of year, month, week, and day, as well as invaluable information like no-show rates. You can then use this real-time information to plan staff schedules, so your business always runs as efficiently as possible.

All this data is represented in intuitive graphs and reports you can use to plan staff schedules and streamline your operations.

A queue management system is a cost-effective tool any organization that works with pets can use to modernize their operations and provide the best possible care to every customer and their pet.

This will help ensure that, no matter how urgent or stressful your customers’ needs, the customer journey will be as streamlined and as possible.