Every phone call is an opportunity – it's time to encourage your team to go beyond the basics.
I was recently speaking with a veterinary practice client about Customer Service training for vet nurses and receptionists who regularly handle telephone enquiries. Their challenge was encouraging team members to go beyond simply providing a price before ending the call.
Every telephone enquiry is an opportunity. In fact, I like to think of it as an audition!
When a pet owner is phoning around veterinary clinics for prices they are evaluating us on much more than the cost of our services. Consciously or unconsciously they are also assessing our suitability to treat their pet. In fact, they will have partially made up their mind in the first 60 seconds depending upon our phone manner, expertise, authenticity and willingness to help.
Taking a little more time with a customer on the phone will not only enable us to secure a booking without compromising our fees but it will also create a memorable experience for our caller.
Asking questions & building rapport
Asking questions is all about building rapport, getting the facts and establishing the customer’s needs in an efficient, warm and genuine manner.
Sometimes what the client or patient needs is something other than what they asked for. A bit of gentle probing for the facts helps us to demonstrate our expertise and to offer solutions in the best interests of the patient. Most customers will be grateful that we took the time and that we care enough to learn more about their pet.
Not all veterinary clinics are the same
Never apologise for your pricing!
Many people are willing to spend more money on a high-quality service if they understand the difference. Be proud of your standards.
Provide inclusions with your pricing. For example fluids, pain relief, e-collar, re-checks etc. How does your practice stand out from the pack?
Going beyond the basics
Do the unexpected, go the extra mile. Offering to send an email with further information or scheduling a follow-up call can surprise and delight those customers who are used to receiving mediocre service. Tell them your name and invite them to call back if they have any questions.
ASK for the booking
You’ll never know unless you ask! If your intention is always to help the client, then it becomes much easier to ask for a booking. If you’ve been asking questions and are confident in your recommendations then it will be a natural conclusion to the call.
I hope these tips help to empower your team and encourage them to dig a little deeper beneath the surface. If you have any questions, please ask them in the Comments section below.
Or, if you'd like some help with skilling up your team, then you can learn more about our Customer Service training HERE. Or if you'd like to discuss how we can tailor a specific training workshop for your practice please call me on 0434 886 182 or email me at [email protected].
Donna has over 15 years sales and marketing experience in the veterinary and pet care sectors. As a previous wholesale rep in the veterinary industry, she understands the challenges faced by veterinarians wanting to not only attract new customers in a highly competitive market, but to keep them coming back.
She has also recruited, trained and coached teams in the corporate, retail, fundraising and veterinary sectors for over 30 years. Her knowledge of veterinary practice marketing and the local landscape enables her to deliver successful marketing strategies and content that keep pet owners engaged and loyal to your practice.
Donna’s mission is to help veterinarians grow their practices and to facilitate easy access to quality, affordable health care for pet owners.