Mark Opperman is right when he says, “It’s what’s up front that counts.” To me, this means that your front desk team members need to be completely focused on client service at all times. This is especially true for those clients who are physically in your facility, as they rightly expect to be a focus of your attention. I’ve long believed that client reception is the most difficult job in a veterinary practice. In fact, I love the title “Client Service Representative (CSR)” as that’s really what they do. As one co-worker once told me, “Reception is an area…not a person.”
Why do I say this job is so difficult? There are many reasons but high among them is that it’s not easy to always be smiling, friendly, and “on.” To be calm in the face of upset clients and sick pets. Certainly you can and should hire for personality and bring on people who enjoy serving others, but on a busy Saturday morning when there’s a line out your door and the phone is ringing off the hook, even your best performers can be put to the test.
So you’ve hired the right people and are continually training them on the core values and standard procedures of your hospital…what are their biggest pain points? What tasks not only make your CSR’s job the toughest but also lead most directly to poor client service? I think there are three specific areas where modern veterinary hospitals put excessive burden on their CSRs, that lead to poor experiences for your clients: