10 reasons how BVRA membership can help the practice
1. Improves customer service
Receptionists are the first and last impression new and existing clients will have of your business. Knowing how to make that all important first impression as well as providing “prompt, polite and positive progress” with their queries is all covered in the bronze level of the Accredited Veterinary Receptionist Award (AVR) which is free to all members.
2. Improves receptionists' confidence to recommend primary appointments
Veterinary businesses need to ‘capture’ new clients and new cases. This means converting initial “contact to consults”. Many receptionists are hesitant to proactively recommend appointments when clients ask them about symptoms as they feel ‘surely clients will ask for one if they need one’. Not so. Many clients expect the receptionist to guide them in their need for an appointment and respect the receptionist’s opinion. The AVR will help receptionist develop the confidence and the feeling that they have the ‘right’ to recommend appointments.
3. Helps ensure follow-up appointments
Approximately 40% of the appointments on a veterinary diary will be follow-up appointments initiated by the vets and nurses once a client has already been seen. In order that cases are seen through to completion it is important that these follow-up cases are actually booked as opposed to drift out the door. The AVR helps practices recognise and deal with the Bermuda Triangle problem whereby clients and follow-up disappear without trace once they leave the consultation room.
4. Helps improves customer service and the quality of information and direction that clients receive
Receptionists are the first and last impression new and existing clients will have of your business. Knowing how to make that all important first impression as well as providing “prompt, polite and positive progress” with their queries is all covered in the bronze level of the Accredited Veterinary Receptionist Award which is free to all members.
5. Decreases client complaints
Clients can complain about many aspects of our services but many complaints centre around expectations about costs. The AVR helps practices recognise and deal with surprises about costs via the £75 rule, which states that if a bill is more than £75, a client should have been informed of the balance BEFORE they reach reception. The BVRA believes that receptionists should not be expected to resolve complaints over bills that they did not create. Adopting this system as a practice habit means everyone needs to work together in order to significantly reduce unpaid bills and the angst associated with them.
6. Develops communication between colleagues
We all know team-work is essential to success but often teamwork in practice isn’t as proactive as it could or should be. That doesn’t mean we are at loggerheads with each other, but it means if veterinary or nurse colleagues fail to take the initiative to ensure that receptionists know what is going with the logistics of a case, this can cause multiple moments of uncertainty that increases the chances something will not be arranged as required or, someone will do or say the ‘wrong’ thing because they didn’t know. The AVR helps practices identify these essential moments of hand over and connection.
7. Develops consistency between colleagues and between sub-teams
Clients feel more reassured when they hear the same message from multiple sources. Whilst there are often many products and ways to resolve medical issues, clients need and prefer a consistent message from their veterinary practice in order to minimize anxiety about whether they are doing the ‘right thing’. The silver level of the AVR helps practices clarify – and create – what their internal polices and protocols are, not only so that receptionists know them, but in order to communicate them consistently to their clients.
8. Improves working relationship with all staff members within practice
The net effect of navigating the Bermuda Triangle and adopting the £75 rule is that receptionists feel less stressed! Even though if you ask non-receptionist colleagues “do you look out for your receptionist colleagues?” they usually say “Yes! Of course!” but often they aren’t proactive in doing so by avoiding the potential for exposure to dealing with entirely avoidable issues. Being proactive to make sure your colleagues are in the loop isn’t just an act of professional respect, it’s good for morale and the long term health of the business.
9. Cutting edge CPD in an affordable and social manner
Receptionists tell us that they often feel left out of the practice’s development plans. Receptionists see vets and nurses going on CPD, doing technical lunch ’n’ learn’s and often wonder who supports them. The AVR award is conveniently available online but if you want a little more social, the BVRA Annual congress on 16th March 2019 as well as the BVRA Boot camps during 2019-2020 are fun and informative ways to help your team develop the skills, knowledge and attitudes they need to thrive.
10. Better time management
Stress is the product of uncertainty and urgency. In other words poor time management creates a sense of urgency that exaggerates the urgency already inherent in veterinary medical practice. The AVR award explains the 8 Principles of diary management can help minimise and even avoid much of the sense of urgency we get working in practice, which results from a lack of forethought and diary planning.