What Would Shawn Do? The Basics of Giving Good Phone


Our receptionists seem so curt when they answer the phone. I think they’re turning away prospective clients! How can I train them to do better?


phoneYour clients and prospective clients expect excellent service at all times. To meet the challenge, create protocols and use scripts. Have each person practice the scripts to improve tone, inflection, pitch, pace, and volume. Here’s a start:
  1. Always answer within three rings.
  2. Smile as you pick up the phone. State the name of the hospital and your name. Offer assistance. “Thank you for calling _____________ Animal Hospital. This is Tracy. How may I help you?”
  3. Affirm the person has made the right choice by calling the practice. “I can help you with that.” Or, “I’m sorry to hear your dog is not feeling well. I would be happy to assist you.”
  4. Obtain contact information. “Have you been to our hospital before? May I quickly get some contact information from you? Thank you, Mr./Mrs. _________.”
  5. Analyze the client’s needs. When necessary, triage. Ask two to four brief questions to get enough information to proceed, such as, “How old and what breed is your pet?” “How long has this been going on?” “How is he responding to you?”
  6. Make the appointment. “How soon can you bring Fluffy in?” Or, “I have an available appointment at (option 1) or (option 2)? What time works best for you?”
  7. Finally, confirm the appointment. “Great, I have you and Fluffy confirmed for Monday, December 12th at 6:30 PM. You will receive a confirmation email within 10 minutes. If you have any questions between now and then, give us a call.”
  8. If it’s necessary to put someone on a BRIEF hold, ask, “May I put you on a brief hold?”
  9. If it’s necessary to take a message, let the caller know when they can expect a return phone call and from whom.
  10. End the call. Repeat any actions that still need to be taken, ask if you can do anything else for the caller, and thank them!
Good luck!

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