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Ben Sweeney: Giving Pet Parents Instant Access to a Vet 24/7 To Give Them Peace of Mind and Enhance Their Customer Journey

Ben Sweeney: VidiVet

We believe in giving pet parents instant access to a vet 24/7 to give them peace of mind and enhance their customer journey.

They can use our app to ask a question using video, audio or text and receive a personalised video response from one of our vets in an average of less than 5 minutes to help them decide: do they need to go to the vet? if they do, when do they need to go? and when they go, what should they expect?

We don’t need to replace the vet digitally (we cant-every pet will need one on day), but what we can do is enhance customer journeys, and use this to help both them and their vet deliver amazing care!

Tell us about yourself?

I am a vet by profession, and love the trust that we have with pet parents. However, as the number of pets has exploded, the number of vets has plateaued, so it means it is harder for people to get access to our expertise.

When i started our Vidivet journey in June 2019, I had a simple plan: enhance access to our expertise whilst enhancing customer experience.

If you could go back in time a year or two, what piece of advice would you give yourself?

Speak to more and more people about what you are doing: make sure you learn by following a lean process, and listen to the evidence not the voices in your own head (they are biased).

What problem does your business solve?

Access to veterinary expertise for anyone with a pet: we give them personalised specific advice in less than 5 minutes. They dont need to book in: it is as easy as ordering from amazon, faster and more personalised than googling and as reliable as speaking to their own vet as it is a real person not a bot!

What is the inspiration behind your business?

Seeing the problems facing the veterinary profession and those we serve. Suicide in vets is x4 above the national average, stress is through the roof, professional dropout rates are at their highest ever which means that if it continues like things are, our ability to cater to the general public and their pets will become worse and worse.

VidiVet is here to support both people with pets and their vets: the two are inextricably linked and services that cut vets out of the loop arent helping with the problem.

What is your magic sauce?

Our team: we have a global team of vets who are all experience and totally get the mission. They are passionate about supporting every single pet we get asked a question about. Even our developers are super passionate about what we do.

Our product team engage with people to do deep dives into everything that is working and more importantly , what isn’t. As I point out to the mall regularly: we are the sum of our parts, and those parts are awesome!

What is the plan for the next 5 years? What do you want to achieve?

The plan is simple: keep listening to people and their problems, build solutions and expand the platform to offer solutions to them.

The more people with pets we help, the more we can learn and develop. In reality, startup land is so agile that having a 5 year plan, whilst admirable, is a little futile: focus on the next 3-12 months, learn as we are going and be awesome that the 5 year plan is a bit like that first start up idea: likely not what will happen.

What is the biggest challenge you’ve faced so far?

Getting the message out there! We are passionate about working collaboratively with brands and the vet profession to support their businesses-but when you are small and unknown, there isn’t necessarily the trust and confidence in the product out there.

So, now that we have more reviews (we are the highest rated app in the UK for vet care) and we can show how we help things then things are moving in the right direction!

How do people get involved/buy into your vision?

If you are looking to invest in exciting and postiviely disruptive businesses in the pet space, if you have a pet facing brand, if you are a vet practice or veterinary corporate group then we would love to chat as we can show you how much we can help you and most importantly, your customer base!

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