2017/02/27 - Press
e-visit: always closer to veterinarians
In September 2016, on the initiative of the IT department, e-visits first appeared amongst the sales force in France. The purpose: allow greater reactivity from regional technical managers to questions from veterinarians. Explanations on this European-scale project by the market manager for Virbac France.
Are visit procedures changing?
Yes. All five of Virbac France's regional veterinarian managers (RTR) are tasked with training companion animal veterinarians in the correct use of products and in associated animal health issues. Each one carries out a key function within a region, which involves close relationships with veterinary practitioners and hence regular visits. Planned face to face meetings in clinics do not always meet the needs of the veterinarians involved in urgent cases. Because of the long distances that need to be travelled they can also be stressful for the RTR, and therefore less effective. So in 2015 Virbac France launched a complementary project: e visits.
What does this involve?
E visits are based on a video conference with a veterinarian, through the use of the Lifesize platform. First of all a suitable time slot for both the RTR and the veterinary practitioner is identified by the sales representative, using a shared agenda. Before the meeting the veterinarian receives simple instructions on how to connect to the system, and at the assigned time the RTR simply has to open the web conference on their laptop to initiate the meeting, which lasts about thirty minutes. At the end of the e visit a survey on the quality of the meeting is completed to assess the veterinarian's level of satisfaction. The results to date are very encouraging.
How was this project put in place?
The e visit systems were developed with the close cooperation of the IT department and the pilot regional technical manager to implement the project. Numerous tests were carried out to ensure customers were 100% satisfied with the service before each RTR was provided with the necessary equipment and training in the use of the platform. The system was rolled out in France in September 2016, after fifty or so pilot e visits. It should soon be rolled out in other European subsidiaries together with all functions supporting the sales force and customers on a daily basis, for example the vet advisers for food producing animals, the customer relationship consultants for companion animals and probably the technical managers at headquarters.
What are the advantages?
Currently one day a week is reserved for e visits. For the RTR e visits clearly represent a time saving and provide an opportunity to increase the number of visits, from three physical visits to six video conferences per week. On average that's an extra six hours per month with veterinary practitioners. In more general terms e visits reduce the time spent in travelling, associated costs as well as the carbon footprint, and enhance Virbac's image as an innovator and a pioneer in this field. They should also contribute to growth in sales. From the veterinarian's viewpoint they benefit from improved follow up on the problems they face, especially in the event of emergencies.
The South-West region sales manager (companion animals):
Although actual visits with veterinarians remain essential for certain matters, e-visits are nevertheless an excellent initiative, in particular in a region which is as spread out as ours. Like face-to-face visits in clinics, interaction is still at the heart of the meeting, but with greatly improved reactivity for the practitioner.