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Ways receptionists can market your practice while improving patient care

Because receptionists start and finish every client interaction, they can significantly influence compliance and buying decisions. Receptionists should constantly reinforce your standards of care—they are not upselling pet owners on services or products they don’t need. Here are everyday tasks can improve patient care and get the cash register ringing

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Easy and effective word makeovers for receptionists

You’d be shocked at the conversations that we record during our phone-skills training programs for veterinary hospitals. From “Please hold. Click.” to “We’re really busy. Can you call us back?” these blunt greetings could harm client relationships and turn away callers who are potential new clients. Being a true telephone professional means using the right words and welcoming attitudes during every call, no matter how busy the day gets. Here are word makeovers that help receptionists be effective communicators.

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Use social media to remind clients of yearly parasite testing

It’s Monday morning, and you’ve experienced a tsunami of sick-patient exams. When the afternoon recedes into a steady stream of preventive checkups, you update the clinic’s Facebook page. Unsure of what to post, you share another adorable photo of the clinic cat napping on the front counter during the morning’s chaos. Your veterinary hospital needs to take a strategic rather than erratic approach to social media.

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Are you letting clients wiggle out of heartworm prevention?

Each veterinary team member talks with 30 or more clients everyday. Use these conversations as opportunities to promote year-round protection against heartworms. A wishy-washy approach may cause pet owners to say no. Here are wiggle words to avoid when discussing heartworm preventatives.

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Avoid wiggle words that kill dental compliance

After diagnosing a dog’s Grade 3 dental disease, the veterinarian told the pet owner, “The receptionist will give you an estimate for the procedure when you check out.” Once collecting payment for today’s checkup, the receptionist said, “Here’s that estimate that the doctor wanted you to have for your dog’s dental treatment.” Not surprising, the lackluster emphasis and explanation resulted in compliance failure. Veterinarians, technicians and receptionists may be using wiggle words that result in no treatment or delayed care for necessary medical procedures. Here are wiggle words to avoid in client conversations.

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Answer incoming calls with the speed of a Greyhound

If you’re slow to answer calls, pet owners might assume that your veterinary hospital is closed or too busy to care. The standard in the service industry ranges from answering 80 percent of calls within 20 seconds to 90 percent of calls answered with 10 seconds.

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6 exam codes every practice needs

Here are six exam codes that every practice needs. Update your practice-management software so reminders are accurate, patients get needed follow-up care and future revenue is guaranteed.

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Are you grumpy or a Golden Retriever over the phone?

Your receptionist is the first impression that callers have of your veterinary hospital, whether they are returning clients or price shoppers who are about to become new clients. If Grumpy Gloria answers calls with negative or rushed tones, she could create negative impressions with pet owners who plan to spend hundreds with your hospital. Did you know that 42% of customers would switch businesses because of an unhelpful or rude employee?

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Are You Confident or Fearful When You Talk to Clients About Money?

You greet Mrs. Johnson and her dog, Max, in the exam room. When she visited six months ago, Mrs. Johnson shared that her husband had been laid off from his job. Should you present Plan A for today’s preventive care or offer the basics? The answer is always Plan A, regardless of clients’ financial situations. Plan A echoes your preventive standards of care and may help pet owners save money in the long run. Your ability to confidently explain financial information to clients impacts their decisions to accept veterinary care.

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How a Slip Leash Can Change The Client Experience

Did you know that an item less than $1 could improve clients’ experiences? Here are four ways to use leashes to please pet owners.

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Veterinarian examining a dog

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