Vet Bounceback Top Tips – 2

Weekly blog 2

If you follow Onswitch on Facebook or Twitter, you will know that throughout June we are posting a daily top tip to help your practice bounce back from the pandemic. Each week we’ll post a summary of the week’s blogs, giving you clarity on the steps you can take now to ensure your business emerges from the current challenges in good shape.




We began the week by looking at another tip for your team. As colleagues begin to come back from furlough, probably into different working patterns, there will be an inevitable change in morale. Living through a shared experience bonds us in a way that can be hard to share or talk about, so it’s important to take time to make space for everyone to articulate how they are feeling:

  1. On post cards (real or virtual, named or anonymous) ask each team member to write down or draw how they feel about what has happened in the last twelve weeks
  2. Do the same again about how they feel about being back at work
  3. Next, ask them to write or draw how they feel about their colleagues and work environment
  4. Finally, share these with the whole team

Doing this will help everyone see what others may be worried about and understand that their concerns are shared by colleagues too. Sharing how we feel can make us feel vulnerable, but it really helps build trust within the team.


Don’t forget that everyone needs individual support as we navigate back towards the new ‘normal’ – a ‘one size fits all’ approach is not ideal right now. Remember to make time to catch up with everyone on an individual basis, identifying what particular support everyone needs to get back on track.


For more help, why not try:

Onswitch’s two-day online ‘Managing and coaching teams’ course


We already know that as we start to come out of the pandemic we need to save time wherever we can. One obvious focus area here is the vaccine booster process.

Dig into your practice data to identify how many have been missed from March, April and May (and probably a few from February too!)

You’ll have a raw number: 100? 200? 300? Each month?

But when looking at saving time, we need to convert this number into the size of the catch up task (a booster takes x minutes, and we have y to do). A massive task needs a focused approach, and we recommend allocating one day a week as a vaccination clinic, for maximum efficiency.


Now if you post a message on your Facebook page, or email to say you’re starting to do boosters again, you’ll get three months’ phone calls in one day. Much better to take ownership of the process by calling clients with an allocated appointment, starting with those who were cancelled first, back in March. These calls can even be made by colleagues working from home in order to free up precious time for those back in the practice.


For more help, why not try:



This week we also looked at the value of feedback loops when making quick changes to what we are all doing. Feedback is a gift (even though it may not always seem that way!) – without it we don’t see other perspectives and improve.

Several of the Onswitch team, and their families, have used vets in the last thirteen weeks. Their experiences have ranged from awesome to awful, in the latter case so much so that they changed vets. Will these practices ever know why they were so good, or were so in need of doing better?


In order to get simple tasks done brilliantly every time, a practice needs feedback loops in place right along the customer journey, from #FirstContact to #FirstCall to #FirstConsult:

  • Take the feedback
  • Share the feedback
  • Amend the process
  • Move on
  • Repeat ongoing


For more help, why not try:

Onswitch Index telephone call measurement

ConsultCoach remote consult scoring and coaching


This week saw our annual CXCongress become an online virtual event, and whilst this unexpected change has required a herculean logistical effort, it has brought opportunity too. We can now reach colleagues and friends who couldn’t make the event physically and

have amended the content to bring in additional speakers who can shed light on the Covid-19 experience, helping us all change how we do what we do.

One of the biggest changes in practice over the last thirteen weeks has been that clients have paid upfront for services delivered remotely, and you will have almost certainly received amazing reviews about your care. (You will recall the few who weren’t happy, but let’s focus on the many who were.)

The overwhelming majority of clients don’t have an issue with your fees and have really appreciated the flexibility and professionalism your team have shown. It’s a great idea to let the team see this, so put together a summary of what your clients have loved – look at your Facebook feeds, reviews, messages, cards, cakes and really see what you have meant to people. The ask the team to come up with three things that were appreciated by your clients, so that as we gradually come out of this period we don’t slip back into the mindset of, ‘owners won’t pay for that’.

In fact, clients have always been happy to pay for good care with great service:

Great care + great service = great value


Which leads us nicely onto finances!

For many of you, the last couple of months have seen a reduction in revenue of about 30% – realistically any financial plan for 2020 needs to go. Getting through the next three months safely and with a sustainable team structure is where your energy needs to be spent now. So:

  1. Throw the finance and profit plan for this year away
  2. Draw up a sustainability plan for revenue and profit for next three months
  3. Review workflow and team hours to sense check if financial expectations are realistic
  4. Stop talking about profit
  5. Start talking about sustainability – we are looking at 2021 now
  6. Identify what needs to happen now so your teams are still with you in 2021
  7. Re-plan your practice finance goals
  8. Stop talking about profit. Really


In this new world, more than ever practices need effectiveness. This must become a deliberate choice, and it’s not the same as efficiency:

  • Effective means we get stuff done in a sustainable way, it’s not about cost savings
  • Efficient gets stuff done, but looks at cost savings rather than sustainability

Effectiveness matters if we want our teams, patients, clients and business to still be here in 2021. We need to define practice goals for the next three months, and then for the three after that. Ask your team for three ideas that can make what they do now easier, better and with a more effective use of time. Then ask them for three things that don’t make sense to be doing now, wasting time and energy.

To borrow a favourite saying, it’s not possible to squeeze a quart into a pint pot – we simply have to change what we do rather than making what we used to do fit with current times.


For more help, why not try:



More top tips to come on Facebook every day through June, summarised each week through the blog. It’s tough right now, but you’re not alone



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