The world of veterinary care is undergoing a transformative shift, and at the forefront of this revolution is the Veterinary Subscription Model. In this blog post, we delve into the insights shared during the recent panel discussion, “Paws & Plans in the Modern Veterinary Practice Theatre” at the London Vet Show. Our esteemed panel, led by Alan Robinson, Director and Co-Founder of Vet Dynamics UK Ltd, brought together a wealth of experience and expertise to explore the implementation of subscription models in veterinary practices.
Meet the Panel:
Alan Robinson – Panel Host With over two decades of experience as a veterinary surgeon and 18 years as a business consultant to more than 1200 practices, Alan is a seasoned professional, dedicated to improving the performance and quality of life in veterinary practices. As the Director and Founder of Garden Vets, the first-opinion, primary care teaching hospital at Harper Keele Veterinary School and Director and Co-Founder of Vet Dynamics UK Ltd, Alan plays a pivotal role in shaping the future of veterinary care.
Kate Higgins – Director, Village Vets Formby Ltd As a veterinarian and business owner, Kate Higgins, along with her husband, manages a two-site small animal practice in the Northwest of England. Her practice, Village Vets Formby Ltd, was among the first in the UK to include unlimited consults in their health plan. Kate’s innovative approach extends to being a Regional Rep for BVA and serving on the Advisory Board for Webinar vet.
Peter Critchley – CFO, Garden Vets With nearly 40 years in Financial Services, Peter has played a key role in creating and setting up consumer lending businesses with major banks in the UK and across Central and Eastern Europe. Currently serving as CFO for Garden Vets, Peter has been instrumental in designing subscription models, bringing a wealth of financial expertise to the veterinary industry.
Cliff Lay – Founder, Easy Direct Debits, Vet Success, and Proactive As the founder of Easy Direct Debits, Vet Success, and Proactive, Cliff Lay is a visionary entrepreneur with a focus on streamlining financial processes within the veterinary realm. His ventures aim to simplify direct debits and enhance overall practice success.
Richard White – CEO, Pickles A seasoned entrepreneur, Richard White serves as the CEO of Pickles, an innovative company transforming pet care through a combination of physical and digital elements. With experience in establishing a leading UK PropTech company, Richard is at the forefront of reshaping how we approach pet healthcare.
In a world where pet ownership is skyrocketing, the conventional pay-per-service veterinary model struggles to keep pace with the demands of accessible and affordable healthcare. But fear not! The veterinary subscription model emerges as a beacon of change, offering a ground-breaking solution that empowers pet owners to provide comprehensive and unwavering care for their cherished pets while keeping costs in check.
Exploring the Veterinary Subscription Model:
A subscription model involves customers paying a recurring fee for ongoing access to a product or service. In the context of pet care, this model emphasizes Comprehensive Preventive Care, focusing on preventing health issues before they become serious. Pet owners subscribing to this model pay a regular fee for routine check-ups, where the pet’s overall health is assessed. Vaccinations, included in the subscription, aim to protect pets from diseases, ensuring they are up to date. The model’s proactive approach, including regular check-ups, vaccinations, and parasite prevention, aims to reduce the likelihood of serious health issues, promoting a healthier and happier life for pets.
Key Takeaways from the Discussion:
- Client Retention and Engagement: The subscription model proves effective in enhancing client retention and engagement. Practices can build lasting relationships with pet owners, ensuring ongoing care and support. “According to Kibo’s survey, 55% of consumers don’t sign up for subscriptions because of the lack of control.”
- Profits and Customer Relations: Implementing subscription models contributes to increased profits while fostering positive customer relations. “The advantages of the subscription business model include convenience, accurate revenue predictions, better inventory management, helps to build a customer base, reduction in customer acquisition costs, and stronger customer relationships.”
- Overall Patient Care: The subscription model allows practices to prioritize and improve overall patient care. Regular check-ups, preventive measures, and prompt responses to emerging health issues become integral components of the subscription-based approach.
- Management, Pricing, and Promotion: Veterinary practices effectively manage subscription plans through tiered offerings, utilizing practice management software, and structured appointment scheduling. Pricing involves tiered plans with monthly or annual billing, potentially with upfront enrolment fees and discounts for multiple pets. Transparent communication about plan details and costs is crucial. Promotion strategies include educational materials, social media presence, collaboration with local businesses, and trial periods. Automated billing systems, renewal reminders, and flexible payment options enhance the billing process. Price points vary widely based on services and location, ranging from monthly fees of £20 to £100 or more, with annual plans potentially priced from a few hundred to over a thousand pounds. Continuous client communication and feedback collection are key to refining subscription models for ongoing success.
Benefits of the Subscription Model
- Cost Predictability: Pet owners can enjoy cost predictability with a fixed monthly subscription fee, covering a range of wellness services. This eliminates the uncertainty of sudden, large veterinary bills, making it easier for clients to budget for their pet’s healthcare.
- Comprehensive Preventive Care: Subscription models often include a variety of preventive services such as regular check-ups, vaccinations, and parasite prevention. This comprehensive approach to preventive care ensures that pets receive the necessary attention, reducing the likelihood of serious health issues.
- Convenience and Peace of Mind: Subscribing to a veterinary plan brings convenience, as clients don’t need to worry about individual service costs during each visit. It offers peace of mind, knowing that essential healthcare services are covered, encouraging a proactive and ongoing approach to pet wellness. With predictable costs, preventative care incentives, encouraging regular vet visits, and tailored wellness plans for each pet.
- Stress-Free Financial Planning: Pet owners can plan their finances more effectively with a monthly subscription, eliminating the need for unexpected financial decisions related to their pet’s healthcare. This promotes a stress-free and sustainable approach to managing veterinary expenses.
- Exclusive Discounts and Additional Services: Many subscription plans come with added perks such as exclusive discounts on vet care and medications.
Discounts on Veterinary Services:
- A subscription plan could offer a percentage discount on various veterinary services, including routine check-ups, diagnostic tests, and procedures.
- Consider providing tiered discounts based on the level of the subscription plan. Higher-tier plans could offer more substantial discounts on a broader range of services.
Emergency Care Coverage:
- Some plans might include emergency care coverage or discounts for unforeseen health issues.
- Offer a certain amount of emergency care coverage per year, providing peace of mind for pet owners in case of unexpected veterinary expenses.
Pet Food Discounts:
- Subscribers may receive exclusive discounts on premium pet foods or nutritional supplements.
- Partner with pet food brands to offer a rotating selection of discounted or complimentary pet food samples to subscribers.
Bundle preventive care services like vaccinations, flea and tick prevention, and wellness exams into a cost-effective package.
- Customize preventive care packages based on factors such as a pet’s age, breed, or lifestyle, providing targeted care.
- Improved Client-Veterinarian Relationship: By subscribing to a veterinary plan, clients engage in an ongoing relationship with their veterinarian. This continuous connection fosters better communication, trust, and collaboration in ensuring the long-term health and happiness of their pets. “Subscription services have become wildly popular in the last few years. In fact, it is estimated that the subscription economy will hit almost $478 billion by 2025. For your customers, paying a subscription fee is not out of the question if the value is there.”
The Paws and Plans panel discussion at the Modern Veterinary Practice Theatre offered invaluable insights into the Veterinary Subscription Model. Led by industry experts and visionaries, the discussion showcased the transformative potential of subscription-based approaches in veterinary care. As we step into the future, practices embracing these models are set to redefine pet healthcare, making it more accessible, affordable, and compassionate than ever before. Don’t miss out on the opportunity to revolutionize your veterinary practice with the power of subscription models.