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Key Performance Indicator: New Client Acquisition

Richard Cohen, MBA, CVPM, Dupont Veterinary Clinic, Washington, DC

May 2018

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Key Performance Indicator: New Client Acquisition


New client acquisition is the process of persuading a potential consumer to utilize a company’s goods or services.1 This can be calculated as a gross figure (ie, new clients acquired during a specific period) or as a net result (ie, gain in overall clientele).

Attracting New Clients

To improve new client acquisition:

  • Conduct training sessions that focus on new client phone inquiries
  • Understand and relay to the team and clients how your practice stands apart from the competition
  • Ask top clients to post positive online reviews
  • Develop a rewards program for new client referrals (eg, offer active clients discounted services, account credits, gift cards to local businesses) 

To count new clients:

  • Total new clients − inactive clients = net gain in new clients
  • Total new clients ÷ FTE veterinarians = new clients per FTE veterinarian


New client reports should be generated and reviewed monthly. Be aware that some practice management software will compile results based on appointments booked or new client files created; therefore, further audits may be necessary to eliminate missed, cancelled, or upcoming appointments.


Practices should aim to recruit 25 to 30 new clients per month per full-time equivalent (FTE) veterinarian.2 Newly established practices may want to consider setting higher targets to establish an initial clientele. Industry tools (eg, iVet360, Veterinary Hospital Managers Association monthly Industry Insight reports3,4) can provide statistics to compare against other practices.


New client acquisition increases the practice’s overall client base, provides replacements for inactive clients, and impacts staffing needs and inventory budgets. Also, asking new clients how they were referred to a practice provides key information to managers and owners who create and oversee marketing budgets.

A certified veterinary practice manager can help a practice understand KPIs and so much more. Visit the Veterinary Hospital Managers Association at for information, resources, and certification.


For global readers, a calculator to convert laboratory values, dosages, and other measurements to SI units can be found here.

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