The Benefits of Digital Signage for Veterinary Clinics
It is estimated that there are currently 28,000 to 32,000 veterinary clinics operating in the United States. Given that approximately 85 million U.S. households own some kind of pet, one might think a veterinary clinic would have more business than it can handle.
In some cases this is correct, but many other veterinary clinics face considerable competition, and even those that face little competition still need to continue to innovate to help make the clinics more profitable.
One of the best ways to optimize your business for maximum revenue potential, while ensuring that your customers have the best experience possible, is to take advantage of the revolutionary technology of digital signage.
In this article, we go in-depth on the benefits of digital signage for veterinary clinics, and as you will see, there are a lot!
What is Digital Signage?
Digital Signage refers to the use of digital screens and digital signage solutions (digital signage software and hardware) to display content to potential customers, paying customers, and employees.
While this definition is certainly simple, this should not lead one to think that digital signage is in any way an elementary technology. In fact, digital signage is one of the most dynamic and powerful tools for marketing, informing customers, creating customer engagement through multiple channels, and employee communications.
One of the main reasons that digital signage is such a great tool for businesses is that you can display such a vast array of different kinds of content to perfectly curate your message, represent your brand identity, promote products or services, and present your business in the way you want it to appear.
A list of some of the various types of content that you can display with digital signage should set the imagination moving. These include videos, text, high-quality images, customer testimonials, social media feeds, animations, interactive apps and forms, building directories, wayfinding instructions, digital menu boards, television entertainment, promotional material, and much more.
Moreover, there are a great number of types of screens you can use for digital signage, allowing you to strategically use different screens to achieve the desired purpose and effect.
Some examples of the types of screens used for digital signage include consumer-grade TVs, commercial-grade screens, interactive touch screens, digital signage kiosks, vertical displays, video walls, tablets, and even billboards!
As you can probably imagine, with so much that digital signage is capable of, there are so many valuable uses for digital signage in the veterinary clinic setting, whether the clinic is a local small business or a larger franchise. These benefits will be the focus of the rest of the article. Trust us, you definitely do not want to miss out!
The Benefits of Veterinary Digital Signage
1. Outdoor Digital Signage Gets More Foot Traffic Into Your Clinic
In this digital age, an effective marketing strategy requires marketing through a variety of channels. Important parts of an omnichannel marketing strategy include active social media accounts, a high-functioning website, search-engine-optimized content, reviews on trusted platforms like Google Reviews and Yelp, and email-marketing campaigns.
Now all of those things listed are in the digital realm, but even as more and more people become dependent on the web, no marketing strategy would be complete without marketing in physical space.
A good marketing strategy functions like an ecosystem, where each channel reinforces the effectiveness of other channels until there is a web of interconnected feedback between all channels.
An essential component of the marketing eco-system that often does not get enough attention (with so many people focused on optimizing digital marketing strategies) are the signs you have outside and inside your establishment.
As we will discuss later, digital signage can be highly effective at improving positive engagement in the digital sphere, but what we will focus on right now is the signs outside of your establishment.
Nearly every business has a sign outside of their establishment, and this certainly includes most veterinary clinics. These signs are usually traditional signs, static, and ultimately limited in their visual appeal.
Because of this, many signs for businesses do little more than let a customer know that they have arrived at the correct business. People are so used to seeing traditional signs that unless they are already seeking out a particular business, it is likely that the signs will leave no impression on them.
To fully depend upon traditional static signs would be to severely miss out on opportunities that would be beneficial for the business. This is because signs are actually one of the most important aspects of marketing.
A sign does not just confirm a location. Rather, it is a central part of establishing brand identity, spreading brand awareness, attracting (or repelling) potential customers, and setting customer expectations.
Traditional signs cannot adequately fulfill these functions, but it is in these areas that outdoor digital signage excels. With digital signage, you are able to create content that is eye-catching and highly visually appealing.
This is because of all the content that you can use. A veterinary clinic can make use of videos, images, text, and logo animations, to ensure that the sign cannot be missed by people who pass by.
Using effective digital signage can help make your business the first place people think of when they have to take a pet to the vet. You can think of it this way: outdoor digital signage is like a first impression.
Just as first impressions are important in social situations, so too are first impressions important when a customer has to decide where to take their business. With outdoor digital signage, you can be sure that you are making the best impression possible and this will lead to far more foot traffic for your clinic.
Moreover, those who find the exterior aspects of your business appealing will be more likely to view their experience inside your establishment in a more positive light.
2. Digital Signage Improves the Customer Experience by Keeping Customers Entertained While They Are Waiting
When customers bring their pets to the vet, they will often have to wait in a waiting room.
This is normal, but it does not mean that people enjoy waiting. In fact, if a veterinary clinic could somehow eliminate all waiting, that would greatly improve the customer experience, but while this is a fantasy, there are still concrete ways in which a clinic can utilize digital signage to improve the customer waiting experience.
There is a difference between real waiting time and perceived waiting time. Real waiting time is the actual amount of time a customer waits, while perceived waiting time is how long a customer feels like they have been waiting.
While it is not always possible to reduce real waiting time, a clinic can greatly improve the customer experience by reducing perceived waiting time. The way to do this is to keep customers entertained while they wait.
Most businesses that require customers to wait recognize that helping customers pass the time while they wait is important, but the problem is that many of these companies do not do much more than provide a few magazines for the customer to peruse. Often, this simply is not enough to improve the customer experience.
A better way to entertain customers is to display engaging programming on TVs set up in the waiting area. Choosing the right programming for a veterinary clinic setting requires careful consideration, but the payoff is well worth it.
Keeping customers entertained while they wait is particularly important in a veterinary clinic. It's no secret that people love their pets, so it is often the case that bringing a pet to the vet is a stressful experience. Moreover, waiting can be the worst part. By keeping customers entertained, they can distract themselves from the stress and let the time pass.
This will greatly improve the customer experience, but the waiting experience is often undervalued by businesses. This is likely because customer wait time seems to have no direct bearing on increased revenue. But customer experience is incredibly important, especially when customer loyalty and the marketing ecosystem are factored in.
When customers have a better experience, they are more likely to become loyal customers, and a solid base of loyal customers is essential for most businesses. But there is more. A good experience at the vet will make it more likely that customers will recommend your business to their friends.
Moreover, clinics want to ensure that the experience is as good as possible because it is incredibly important that customers not only leave online reviews but that these reviews are positive.
As should be clear, keeping customers entertained is incredibly important, and this goal is made much easier with Loop TV, which offers over 200 different channels that are perfect for veterinary clinics and can be easily streamed onto your waiting room TVs.
3. Digital Signage Gets Customers Engaged
As we noted earlier, an effective marketing strategy requires a marketing ecosystem with marketing channels in both the physical space of your establishment and your online presence.
You might have been wondering how in-store digital signage related to your marketing efforts in the digital sphere. Well, in the previous section, we talked about how positive customer experience can lead to better online reviews, but in this section, we will talk about how digital signage relates to a clinic's social media platforms.
Digital signage allows clinics to use their digital signs to display real-time social media feeds. When people come into your establishment, they might be completely unaware that your business had social media. However, if you show off your social media (and what you show is that your business is active and engaging on social media), then people will be more likely to follow.
When people follow your social media, this opens up another channel for marketing and engagement. People should see on your digital signage social media feeds that they can get info on promotions, events, and other important aspects of the clinic if they follow your accounts.
You can also feature posts about your business. Many people will post pictures of their pet after a visit to the vet, and encouraging customers to tag your accounts in these posts is a great way for customers to do some marketing for you.
This is a great way to spread brand awareness and gain the trust of potential new customers once they see that their friends on social media have had a good experience.
4. Digital Menu Boards Generate More Sales for Clinics
Digital Menu Boards are not just good for restaurants and bars. It can be highly beneficial for your clinic to display all of your services and products on the menu board. Many people come to the vet not knowing all of the services that the clinic offers, and this means that they ultimately will not ask for as many services.
However, if they have a list of the services displayed before them on a highly visually pleasing digital screen, then they will likely see things that they want to get for their pets. Many people want to do everything that they can for their pet’s health, but they cannot ask for services that they do not know your clinic provides.
Of course, employees in the clinic can recommend certain services, but this can be tricky. Not all the services that are offered are necessary even if they may be good for the pet. Ultimately, people do not like to feel like they are being sold things that are not necessary.
However, with a digital menu board, it will be the customers that are taking the initiative to ask for the services that catch their eye, and this will make it more likely that they will purchase good but not necessary services.
By utilizing highly visible and engaging digital menu boards, veterinary clinics may find that customers are buying many more services than they might have otherwise.
Revolutionizing the Clinic
As we have described in this article, there are so many benefits that a veterinary clinic can get from integrating a digital signage system into their establishment.
With digital signage, veterinary clinics can draw in more new customers, improve the customer experience, foster an environment that creates loyal customers, get people engaged with the clinic on social media, and ultimately generate more sales.