Why trust is a key ingredient in this Dutch clinic’s VetPlan success
IJsselmuiden Veterinary Clinic in the Netherlands have a quite relaxed approach to selling preventive health plans to their customers, and still they have a very high share of them on VetPlan. What is their recipe for success? We had a chat with clinic owner Drs. Ellen Rook to find out.
“It’s all about trust. The pet owners in our community trust us in wanting what is best for them, and not trying to sell them something that is only to our benefit. We offer a package with the preventive services needed and with premium brand products, so it truly is a good deal,” says Ellen.
Continuous information to get engagement
When Ellen and the team first heard about preventive health plans they were interested and wanted to give it a try, but they did not expect it to be successful. It was simply not something pet owners had requested. But once they put information about VetPlan in the waiting room and mentioned it to pet owners visiting the clinic, more and more people got interested and signed up. “We don’t sell it very actively, but mention it continuously to pet owners and after some time they realize it is beneficial. They get great products that has been selected by their vet and they don’t have to think or worry about anything, all preventive care is covered. So it’s super easy for the pet owner. Again, it’s based on customers trusting my team and that we’re not just pushing sales and forcing them to buy something,” says Ellen.
IJsselmuiden have dogs, cats and rabbits on VetPlan. Owners of every puppy or kitten that comes to the clinic get a flyer with information about VetPlan to take with them home. At their next visit the team brings VetPlan up again to pick up any potential questions from the pet owner. Ellen says: “Many people buy an animal only for company and don’t really think about all the work and responsibility that comes with the pet. VetPlan solves a big part of that, as a pet owner you get awareness about how to take good care of your pet and you get the support needed.” Beside flyers the clinic also have information about VetPlan on tv screens in the waiting room and information one their website, especially the website has been a great way for customers to pre-read about the service and bring questions with them to the clinic.
Clear benefits for both pets and owners
The team at the clinic see tangible long-term benefits for the animals, due to the pet owner’s compliance to the yearly checkups and preventive parasite care, the animals are significantly healthier. Ellen continues: “We are based in a region with a fairly high share of low-income households, and I feel VetPlan is very well suited for these pet owners as they get predictable costs spread out monthly instead of one big chunk, and with good discounts of premium brands. But obviously, to make sure your pet has access to continuous preventive care is a benefit for any pet owner!”
Richard Baeke, VetPlan Manager at VetFamily in the Netherlands says there is a curiosity in the market for preventive care: “Today we see a growing interest from pet owners in preventive care plans. After almost 10 years of this service on the Dutch market, more and more people discover it and see the benefits. So there is a great potential for clinics in this since it gives a predictable income for the clinic, it increases the foot traffic to the clinic and with that additional spend, and it really is beneficial for the pet owner and pet!“
IJsselmuiden Dierenkliniek is located in the small village of IJsselmuiden about an hour northeast of Amsterdam. Drs. Ellen Rook is the primary veterinarian and get supported by another vet a few days every week. In the team is also three assistants and one intern, providing high quality care to the community’s small animals. The clinic has been in IJsselmuiden since 2007 and focuses on dogs, cats, rodents and rabbits. They have offered VetPlan since 2019.