Telephone Enquiries – Digging Beneath The Surface

I was speaking with a client yesterday 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

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

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 customer, 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’d like some help with skilling up your team 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

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