How Important is Your Front Office Staff?

When people think of Receptionists, Clients Service Reps., or Client Specialists, they think answering phones, scheduling appointments, and performing transactions. There is so much more that is done by the amazing people that are in these positions.

Your front office is a representation of YOU. If you don’t have the “right” people, it can very easily give your facility a bad reputation regardless of the wonderful medicine you practice. Do you realize that word of mouth referrals are much more valuable than any advertisement that you pay for? A portion of those word of mouth referrals is due to your front office staff. When clients come through your doors, they should always be greeted with a smile and a good morning, good afternoon or in my case a “Hey girl! How you doing?!”  Your clientele will always remember these pleasantries.

Of course, we realize not every pet will have a clean bill of health, and in these situations, it’s important for your front office to acknowledge this and cater their attitude and demeanor to assist with your client’s needs. Whether it’s aftercare paperwork or final invoicing, you need to ensure you have the right person(s) to handle the situation appropriately. Empathy cannot be taught and again, your clients will remember these gestures.

Last but not least, do you support your front office staff? Do you listen to their ideologies about change in how they can do a better job for YOU?  Do you support them when they might not be having such a great day? Do you support them when a not so nice client has yelled at them about the practice guidelines that are in place? Do you support them when they have medicinal questions in order to gain insight to pass along to the client? Do you support them when they need your help no matter how big or small?

If, you’ve answered yes, GREAT! You probably have a crew that will bend over backwards for you. If you’ve answered no, you probably have a high turnover rate and are currently looking for Receptionist/CSRs as you read this. I can’t emphasize enough how important doctors and vet techs support is to the front office staff. Without it, your front office is left to search on “Dr. Google” with the general public and I’m sure that’s not the level of understanding you want your staff to have.

Be sure to invest in the person(s) that become the face of your practice. Whether it’s internal training, external training, CE events or outside resource books, it will all pay off in the end. Your clients will feel like a family member when they walk in your practice instead of feeling like a…, well…, client…

Submitted by: Nicole Hunter, Reception Manager

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