The Biggest Scheduling Mistakes Veterinary Practices Make<!-- --> | Chckup

Table of Contents

Not Having Fixed Working Hours

Not Scheduling Enough Clients

Not Training Staff to Prevent Cancellations 

Not Providing Staff with Call Scripts

Not Following Up on Missed Appointments

Not Leaving Slots Open for New Clients 

Not Sending Reminders

Not Having a Call Waitlist

Advanced Veterinary Scheduling Solutions for Veterinary Practices

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The Biggest Scheduling Mistakes Veterinary Practices Make

Elliott Greenwood

May 19, 2023 · 3 min read


The Biggest Scheduling Mistakes Veterinary Practices Make

Schedules can make or break a veterinary practice. Keep reading to learn more about veterinary scheduling mistakes to avoid and how to better manage your practice.

A great way to grow your veterinary practice is to schedule appointments appropriately. 

Effective scheduling can accommodate new clients and ensure that returning clients come back to your practice regularly. However, short-notice cancellations, long wait times, or double bookings can occur due to bad scheduling practices.

Below are common appointment scheduling mistakes your veterinary practice could be making and how to avoid them.

Not Having Fixed Working Hours

Veterinary practices strive to provide their clients with the best veterinary care for their pets. An inefficient use of time and energy is one of the most common mistakes made by veterinary practices. This issue is so prominent that it has led the veterinary industry to hold one of the highest burnout rates in the professional world.

One solution to inefficient scheduling can be fixed by booking important procedures when you feel the most productive, such as early morning or afternoon.

It's also important to communicate your working schedule with your staff. For your veterinary practice to succeed, you should work the hours convenient for you and not your clients. 

Not Scheduling Enough Clients

Avoid giving clients control over your schedule. 

If your veterinary practice does not see enough clients during normal business hours, you most likely have a scheduling problem. 

Being open for more hours could backfire by increasing labor costs and decreasing overall productivity.

Over time, the veterinary practice may struggle to fill weekends or evenings. Instead of working more hours, try pinpointing why the staff cannot fill the schedule during regular hours. 

Not Training Staff to Prevent Cancellations 

No-shows and cancellations can be frustrating and disruptive to your veterinary practice. Staff should try to convince clients to avoid cancellations if possible. If they do cancel, have your staff ask clients for a reason for cancellation.

Depending on the answer, your staff should have the training to explain the treatment procedures, costs, and benefits to their pet’s health.

Not Providing Staff with Call Scripts

When your staff member picks up the phone, they may not know what to expect. Potential new clients might be calling to make an appointment, or a current client may need to reschedule. 

It's essential for staff members to have access to well-thought-out scripts so they can handle any situation.

Scripts can help maintain consistent messaging for your veterinary practice. The scheduling process will become easier and your staff will be more prepared if they can refer to specific materials. 

Not Following Up on Missed Appointments

When a client misses their appointment, your staff should contact them to follow up. 

Instead of accusing them of not showing up, give them the option of rescheduling. Practices with veterinary appointment scheduling solutions, like Chckup, can offer easy and convenient rescheduling.

Offering pressure-free rescheduling allows clients to select the date and time that is most convenient for them. 

An easy-to-reschedule system can also help reduce the number of short-notice cancellations and no-shows.

Not Leaving Slots Open for New Clients 

No-shows are more likely to occur if clients schedule appointment times too far in advance. 

Whenever possible, try to accommodate new clients within three days. Many veterinary practices end up losing new clients by overbooking their schedule.

Not Sending Reminders

Veterinary practices should send clients reminders before their appointments. A day before the appointment, you can give the client a call. Ensure these calls do not provide the option of canceling an appointment.

The purpose of these calls should be to express your excitement about seeing clients on a particular day and time. 

If the client says they cannot make the appointment, you have enough time to find another client to fill the slot. 

You can also use Chckup’s appointment reminders to automate the process and allow clients to confirm their appointments.

Not Having a Call Waitlist

Sometimes gaps appear in the schedule due to unforeseen circumstances. For such situations, your veterinary practice should maintain a short-notice waitlist. 

That way, when a cancellation occurs, you can call the first client on the waitlist to schedule an appointment.

Alternatively, you can check the day's schedule to determine whether any clients are past due. If they agree to earlier treatment, consider moving them to the open spot.

Advanced Veterinary Scheduling Solutions for Veterinary Practices

Many veterinary practices still provide appointments over the telephone or by walk-in. 

Scheduling appointments is an ongoing challenge, and unfilled appointments can quickly result in lost revenues. 

At Chckup, we can assist you with the process.

Contact our team today to try a modern veterinary appointment scheduling system and more.

Are you a veterinary professional?

If you're in the veterinary field and you're interested in giving your practice the extra hands it desperately needs, book an 8 minute demo with Chckup. Our platform helps busy practices handle call overload, boost revenue per client, and increase client satisfaction by providing actionable insights and easy-to-use technology to help you stay on top of everything.

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