First and foremost, the management team needs to stress to the client service team that they are extremely valuable members of the staff.
While the role of receptionist may not be highly regarded in many fields and industries, life is different in a veterinary clinic. Our client service staff must be intelligent, friendly, efficient, and persuasive. After all, they are the ones who bring the clients into the office. THEY ARE YOUR SALES AND MARKETING TEAM$$$
Are your staff members being trained sales and marketing skills? Do they have the knowledge and tools to turn a call into a sale?
The sales and marketing techniques to close a sale can be obtained in many different ways. Books on phone sales, i.e. Sales on the Line by Sharon Morgen Scripts- Staff can use these as guidelines on how to talk to clients with just about any situation. Hire a coach to teach your staff how to increase appointments and build a rapport with clients over the phone. Watch webinars about phone success. A good (and free) series to watch is by Chris Mullins. www.mullinsmediagroup.com www.mullinsmediagroup.com
Ok, so you bought the books, watched the webinars, hired the consultant and you have trained your staff on how to build rapport with clients and to schedule more appointments. Fast forward six weeks and you assume everyone is doing what they have been trained to do.
You have to inspect what you expect. If you want your client service team to ask clients to bring in fecal samples for every wellness exam, dont just assume that they are asking. Check up on them. Make sure that money isnt floating right past your doors.
You can inspect calls in a couple of ways. 1) Mystery shop your staff. This can be done by a consultant other outside business. 2) Use tools like Yext Calls to listen to their recorded phone calls of your staff with clients.
In addition to bringing new clients to the clinic, Yext Calls allows management to listen and evaluate the client service team many times each month. They record every call that comes in through their line and this gives you a tool to better manage your staff.
Some calls will make you realize you need to either do more training or re- evaluate your client service team.
If your calls arent meeting your expectations, there could be several reasons why your staff might not be following the new phone techniques that they have been taught. WAIT! BEFORE YOU GET REALLY ANGRY….
They simply dont remember. They dont see the big picture and how their phone skills can impact the business. If the message is not reiterated, they assume it is not a high priority and dont do it. The information was new to them and change is uncomfortable, so they didnt try it.
Determine what is occurring with your team or individual staff member and respond accordingly. Take the opportunity to praise and reward staff for a monthly quota of new clients. Staff will appreciate your insight and for making their role a priority in your practice.
And happy staff members work harder at their jobs. This means better and more efficient employees who bring in new clients and retain existing clients. It also means a reduction in turnover and less lost revenue due to errors and miscommunication.