You know by now that much of your front-desk team members’ most important work is done over the phone. And a key part of front desk receptionist duties is handling tricky situations with clients. Let’s take a closer look at some common tricky phone situations and how your staff members can best deal with them.
Every veterinary practice has to deal with price shoppers. In fact, it’s one of the most common front desk receptionist phone duties: trying to convince price-shoppers to stick with your services rather than shop around for the cheapest price in the area.
The first step is to deflect the price question by saying something like “I’d be happy to help with that… can I ask a few questions first?” You can also try giving a range of prices to try and satisfy the customer. Include these tactics in descriptions of your front desk receptionist duties.
Nickel and Diming
Some customers want to pay only the bare minimum, every time. You may have heard phrases like “Why do I have to pay for an exam when all I want is this one vaccination?” Reassure the customer that their question is a valid one, and then tell them that the safest course of action is to get a full picture of their pet’s health. Explaining the importance of proper care procedures is integral to front desk receptionist duties.
Asking for the Impossible
Similar to the nickel-and-diming situation, sometimes customers ask for the impossible, i.e. “I just want this medication, my pet doesn’t need an exam.” In this kind of case, part of front desk receptionist duties involves acknowledging the customer’s feelings and explaining why your team can’t do what they ask. Try answering with “Even if you’ve seen these symptoms before, it’s best we see your pet in order to make a diagnosis so that they stay safe. Does that make sense?”
Something for Nothing
Your front-desk staff may also deal with customers trying to manipulate them in an affordability sense. You might hear something like “I just can’t afford that, you’re letting my pet suffer!” Don’t allow customers to bully you; this is also an essential part of front desk receptionist duties. It’s not always easy, but you must not feed into the manipulation. Tell the customer that you’re sorry you can’t help them and stick to your guns.
Front desk receptionist duties will involve dealing with these scenarios. The sooner you get your team up to speed and armed with the right responses, the better off your practice is.