From Transactions to Relationships: Embracing the Membership Economy

Moving from transactions to relationships means shifting from a transactional way of doing business, where the primary focus moves from a one-time exchange of goods or services for money, to a more engaged approach, where the goal is to build long-term, mutually beneficial relationships with clients, often through the use of memberships or subscriptions.

What is a Transactional Model?

In a transactional model, the emphasis is on completing the sale, whereas in a relationship model, the emphasis is on building trust, providing value, and understanding the needs of the other party. In a transactional model, customer interactions may be short-lived and focused on the sale, while in a relationship model, customer interactions are ongoing with an emphasis on building a deeper understanding of a customer’s needs and preferences.

To make this shift, businesses need to invest in building strong relationships with customers and partners. This can involve providing exceptional customer service and/or personalised communication to increase client loyalty through an improved experience. Contrary to popular belief this does not mean an increased investment of time or resources, in fact both can be reduced, when the clients needs are understood and proactively being met.

What is Meant by ‘Membership Economy’?

By prioritising relationships over transactions, businesses can create more sustainable, long term revenue streams, while weathering any economic downturn with the backing of a strong, loyal client base. It’s a clinics community which will ultimately increase its visibility and in turn up its levels of pet owner acquisition and retention. A great way to establish this is by creating a membership economy whereby clients pay for ongoing access to products and services, year ‘round, year in/year out. Rather than making one-time purchases and then hopefully remembering to do the same again when the need occurs. Membership could be in the form of a monthly or annual subscription fee, or a subscription fee that gives them access to exclusive benefits.

To successfully embrace the membership economy, businesses need to prioritise the following:

Customer Experience: Taking an omni-channel approach to communicating with your clients can increase both engagement and satisfaction, whilst also freeing up phone lines. Value Creation: Wellness Plans should provide ongoing value that goes beyond what a customer could get from a single transaction. This can include increased convenience through payment instalments and personalised reminders. Community Building: Memberships often create a sense of belonging, which can be a powerful motivator for customers to stay engaged and loyal. Businesses should prioritise building and nurturing a community around their brand.

How Can Wellness Plans Increase Client Usage?

Historically veterinary clinics have done a reasonably good job of educating a fair proportion of pet owners on the need for preventive medicine, including regular check-ups. However, a certain level of laxness was tolerated over the pandemic, allowing people to delay vaccinations and the such. Although much of this was out of necessity, there is no escaping this may have untaught good habits and precipitated some bad ones. As Samuel Johnson said, the chains of habit are too light to be felt until they are too strong to be broken.

Wellness plans are a perfect example of how patient advocacy can be brought back by creating compliance and opportunities our businesses depend on. There’s work to be done here in reforming but by curating a personal schedule of treatments, check ups and services good habits can be reinstated.

PetsApp automations

In fact by incorporating a ‘bricks and clicks’ approach to what is meant by ‘your clinic’ you create more than experiences and services you offer a one stop destination and a seamless online to offline customer pathway, easily managed by both veterinary teams and their clients. Thus negating the need for any other outside (non-vet) influence or detractors. To boot this can all often be done from the convenience of a pet owner’s phone or an in clinic iPad.

And increased client convenience need not mean increased veterinary team workload. Just the opposite, in fact we’ve seen an 85% drop in missed calls with practices using PetsApp and as much as a 35% increase in subscription usage within clinics that incorporate features such as pet wellness plans through their PetsApp.

If you'd like to learn more around mastering pet owner communication and how to maximise your client retention with minimal effort, why not sign up to our next webinar session with Will Monk; co-founder & CTO of PetsApp.

Mastering Pet Owner Communication: Maximise Client Retention with Minimal Effort 🪄

Or to find out how PetsApp could help you potentially see a $25,243 increase in revenue per month, book a demo today!

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