It’s a situation that many veterinary practices come across: hiring receptionists who don’t have previous experience in the field. It’s usually not a huge problem, but there are a few tips and tricks to follow to make sure things go smoothly. Here are four principles to follow on veterinary receptionist training for hires with no veterinary experience:
The Golden Rule of Receptionist Training
When it comes to veterinary receptionist training, here is the golden rule for hires to follow: if they don’t know, ask. Should they be posed with a medical question from a client and they don’t know exactly how to respond, the policy should always be to ask someone who knows, whether that’s a fellow receptionist, a Tech, or a doctor.
Include this golden rule in all of your veterinary receptionist training materials. It’s not only important for patient health, it’s important for your practice’s reputation and livelihood. In the worst-case scenario, a client could take legal action against your practice for giving them false information or medical advice!
Cover the Basics
Just because your new reception hire doesn’t have any specific veterinary medical knowledge doesn’t mean it has to stay that way. It’s up to you what kind of basic medical knowledge you want to include in your veterinary receptionist training materials.
Perhaps you’ll have receptionists impart basic information on vaccination schedules and preventative care, or recommendations on diet. Just make sure that nothing medical-related in your veterinary receptionist training can prove compromising later.
Focus on Customer Service
At the end of the day, receptionists have a broader responsibility at your practice aside from medical advice or information. It’s their job to provide excellent customer service at every step of the client experience. That’s why most of your veterinary receptionist training materials will cover customer service expectations, not medical knowledge.
Consider Specialized in Veterinary Receptionist Training
As mentioned above, it’s up to you how much medical knowledge you would like to include in your veterinary receptionist training. And you can take it to the next level if you so desire — consider having your reception hires undergo specialized training to understand the basics of veterinary care. Members of your reception team could even transition into Veterinary Assistant work and provide you with even more flexibility in terms of scheduling.
Your reception team members don’t have to experts in the veterinary field — that’s why you have veterinarians and Technicians. But structuring your veterinary receptionist training in a way that suits your needs and desires is a good way to maximize efficiency and functionality at your practice.