Turn Uncomfortable Cost Conversations Into Caring Solutions

Even the most experienced veterinary staff can get squirmy when it comes to discussing the cost of care with clients. As Peter Weinstein, DVM, MBA, explained, “As a veterinary practitioner, I found it easier to discuss life and death with my clients than dollars and cents. What is it about money, fees and costs that is so daunting, threatening and downright scary? It may be that talking about costs is difficult because veterinary medicine is such a caring and compassionate profession.”1

It may also be that the cost of providing care for pets has grown significantly as the level of medical possibilities for pets has expanded. Now, along with educating clients about all of the possible treatment options, it’s just as important to communicate expertly about your payment solutions, as well.

Get to the other side of client cost concerns

If you’ve ever had a difficult conversation with a client about payment, you know it can be uncomfortable. Maybe you walked into the exam room feeling completely confident about presenting the pet’s treatment plan. Then, the client began to waffle and decided to wait a month or two. As a last resort, maybe you offered to eliminate elements of the plan to help reduce the cost.

This is the kind of conversation you probably don’t want to repeat. Providing payment options in conjunction with your recommended treatment plan can help. Besides cash, check, pet insurance and general purpose credit cards, it can make a big difference when clients hear you offer a convenient financing option like the CareCredit healthcare credit card.

Change the conversation, change the outcome

When you include an easy way to pay for a pet’s complete care, it can make an impact on the entire situation. For starters, it shows clients you not only care about their pet’s health, but you also want them to be able to manage the costs. The CareCredit credit card is a solution that’s helped pets get care for more than 20 years because it provides clients with:

  • A way to pay over time* for their pet’s care
  • A choice of available financing options to help fit care into their budget
  • Easy application in your practice, at home or online, with an instant credit decision

In fact, 47% of cardholders surveyed said they would have postponed or not moved forward with the complete recommendation if CareCredit had not been available. They may also visit their veterinarian more often. On average, CareCredit cardholders who opened their account at a veterinary office used their card 5.37 times per year for veterinary services in 2017.

Another solution that shows you care

The next time you head to the exam room with a treatment plan, remind yourself how valuable it can be to let clients know you have a payment solution, too. You may discover the cost conversation no longer feels uncomfortable when you suggest an easy way to pay. Instead of postponing care or cutting back, more clients may say yes to complete care for their pet and appreciate they have a flexible way to fit optimal care into their budget.

A financing option can make a real difference

Having CareCredit was a lifesaver for our family. Our new puppy had been injured …and was sent to a university hospital for emergency surgery. Had it not been for CareCredit, I don’t know what we would have done. He is now almost 1 year old and is as happy and healthy as ever.” — Angie B.

“It is so nice when our clients have a solution for unexpected petcare costs. It allows me to focus on providing the best medical care possible for their pet.”— Debra Primovic, DVM MedVet Hilliard, Columbus, Ohio

 

*Subject to credit approval. Minimum monthly payments required. See carecredit.com for details.

1Talking to Clients About Money Doesn’t Have to Be Painful by Peter Weinstein, DVM, MBA, 2017.

2Cardholder Engagement Study, Q4 2016

By Sam Mudd  |  Posted In Veterinarians