Overseeing the front office of a veterinary practice entails more than just greeting incoming clients and patients. The average day of most veterinary receptionists includes taking calls, preparing prescriptions, cleaning exam rooms, confirming appointments and processing all fees.
With the right technology in your front office, some of the many tasks veterinary receptionists face can be automated. Take the recurring fees for prescriptions, doggy daycare and wellness plans receptionists run manually. It’s time consuming and inconvenient to bill clients every month for these repeat services.
How exactly can you automate recurring payments? It requires two invaluable features that top-shelf Virtual Terminals offer. A Virtual Terminal is exactly what it sounds like: It’s a virtual (think web-based) version of the old-school terminal you’re used to seeing at nearly every checkout counter. The difference is that a Virtual Terminal provides your business with powerful tools to improve your front office, such as automating veterinary payment plans.
Cards on File
Before you can set a veterinary payment plan, you have to store the client’s card on file. For new clients, this process takes seconds, and if you’ve processed the client’s card via a Virtual Terminal before, then you don’t have to do anything. Sophisticated Virtual Terminals automatically store cards on file by tokenizing the card number. This process generates a series of random tokens and replaces the card number so the sensitive information isn’t visible or accessible.
This feature offers your the convenience of never having to request a card again, and it makes your checkout process a breeze for one-off transactions.
Recurring Payment Schedules
Once a client’s card is stored on file, scheduling a veterinary payment plan takes just a few clicks. Payment schedules can be customized to bill daily, weekly, monthly or yearly. Set an end date for short-term payment plans or leave it blank for indefinite services. The following services are just a few ways a veterinary payment plan can be used:
- Prescription refills: Say you have a patient, Carl the cat, who needs to start flea medication. Carl’s owner cannot afford to pay for a year’s worth of medication up front and would like to pay every month. A payment schedule can be set up to bill Carl’s owner on the first of every month for a year.
- Doggy daycare programs: If your practice offers daycare and boarding services, it’s likely you have a few clients who utilize the program when they go on vacation. Imagine one of your clients just dropped off his beloved puppy, Pancakes, who will be boarded for a week. A payment schedule can be set up to bill Pancake’s owner the day he picks her up, so that he doesn’t need to stop at the checkout desk on his way out.
- Wellness plans: Whether you’re treating a young patient who needs to enroll in a vaccination plan or a veteran patient who requires chemo treatment, a veterinary payment plan is a great way to take the stress off the client. Scheduling payments to run automatically eases visits and removes a stop at the counter for patients after treatment.
- Surgery payments: Daisy the bulldog needs surgery for hip dysplasia, which is going to cost Daisy’s owner a few thousand dollars. Offering the option of payment installments to cover the surgery will allow Daisy to get the surgery and live out her life more comfortably, while Daisy’s owner isn’t torn between helping her dog or putting herself under financial stress.
Veterinary payment plans can accommodate clients and patients in a way that makes their experiences comfortable and convenient, all while helping you maintain an orderly office and keep all records accurate.
What types of recurring services does your practice offer? Do you think an automated veterinary payment plan would alleviate your receptionist? Tell us below!