Staying on top of how your receptionist is performing his or her job duties is an important part of front desk management. You want to make sure callers are being handled properly, clients are enjoying a consistently excellent experience and every opportunity to convert leads and increase profitability is being taken. Front desk monitoring allows you to ensure that all of these goals are being met without pulling you away from your own day to day tasks and responsibilities. To get the most out of this practice, here are a few tips.
Create a list of criteria that you feel defines success.
What do you envision an exceptional client interaction to be? Don’t expect your receptionist to simply know what you have in mind. Spell it out. Create a predefined list of criteria against which you will be measuring performance during front desk monitoring activities and share that list openly with your team. Beyond a checklist, leave a space for comments after each critical call component and record notes to help agents understand the rationale for the ratings you provided.
Communicate front desk monitoring policies and procedures.
Oftentimes, simply knowing that calls are being monitored can be enough to keep your front desk agent on his or her toes. You want to spell out what’s expected so everyone is on the same page. Provide a foundation and guidelines as to how you want calls to be handled and offer ongoing training and coaching as needed. Being open about your front desk monitoring can make it a positive thing, providing an opportunity for your receptionist to excel and be recognized for his or her hard work.
Be consistent about how you’re monitoring.
Calls should either be monitored randomly or they should be pulled and assessed in a way that is organized, even and fair. The goal with this step is to ensure that if you have more than one agent, no one will end up feeling as if they are being unfairly targeted. This can breed resentment and result in turnover. Instead, make sure everyone being monitored has an idea of how calls will be pulled, whether it’s one or two a day, a few per week or some other specified frequency.
Be objective but balanced with your feedback whenever possible.
The goal of front desk monitoring may be to improve and optimize the client experience. But if you make every evaluation only about the negatives, it’ll be much harder to achieve that goal because you’ll likely drive morale down in the process. You should absolutely provide constructive criticism and correction where needed, but also try to balance that out with positive feedback and encouragement where warranted. Negative comments will be much easier to swallow when they’re followed by recognition for a job well-done.
In some cases, you may need to save a call recording and go back to review your assessment later. If there’s ever a question or you’re unsure about how to rate a particular call component, it’s better to be extra thorough. If your system allows, playing back calls for agents to hear and encouraging them to self-assess can be another way to really drive home performance assessments and provide a springboard for professional development.
Front desk monitoring is a critical component of success in the veterinary industry. With the insight you gather, you’ll be able to optimize training and continuously improve the client experience. The tips above should help position your practice for success, both now and in the future.