It is springtime, and you know what that means. Our furry friends will become much more active outdoors. When the ground thaws and when the air warms up, animals are often the first to explore. They become very energetic. Unfortunately, they also get exposed to injuries and sickness. And that means more phone calls for you.

How do you handle all those calls? And make sure not to miss any? When the flurry of spring phone calls hits, how do you keep your already busy staff from becoming overwhelmed?

With so many calls coming in, it’s a challenge to get through the routine calls so you can respond to the emergencies. You’re also concerned to make sure your routine callers don’t feel frustrated and forgotten. Even if theirs isn’t an emergency, you know they are worried about their pets too.

Maybe you’ve wondered whether a dedicated answering service could help you. But you’re not sure where to start, or if it’s the right move for you.

Can a professional answering service be a quality asset for your veterinary practice? Here are some key benefits to consider and qualities to look for in a professional answering service:

1. Representatives who are friendly and genuinely concerned about your clients.

Even though your answering service does not work in your veterinary office, you will benefit from an answering service that maintains a professional working environment. Your clients can tell the difference. They have come to trust your quality of care. The right answering service will be an extension of the quality you provide.

2. Confidence and experience with medical calls, so clients feel that their situations are understood and handled properly.

You will need an answering service that understands these are potentially serious medical situations with animals. They also need to understand that details can make a significant difference in how you are able to respond. The service representatives need to be experienced with listening to and recording the medical details being shared. This confidence and experience will give peace of mind to your clients and to you.

3. The ability to assess when a situation requires an emergency response.

When you are busy working with your veterinary patients, you don’t need to be inundated with routine calls. Often, pet parents are worried that their situation is an emergency, even when it is not. You need a professional answering service that understands which calls you want to take immediately, which calls can be dispatched for you to return later, or how messages should be forwarded and to whom. The service needs to work well with your protocols for sorting and dispatching messages and offering follow-up options to clients.

4. Accurate and thorough in obtaining and recording details from your clients.

We know that in your veterinary business, every detail can make a difference in how a situation is handled. You need an answering service that treats every call with the utmost importance. And you need a service dedicated to the most effective communication. Even one missed or inaccurate message is unacceptable. Your veterinary practice requires an answering service committed to the highest quality of recording and relaying accurate messages.

5. Prompt and reliable dispatch of messages.

Your answering service will benefit you the most when every message is dispatched immediately, in the ways you expect to receive them. With a professional system of relaying messages, you will have all the information you need to make decisions. You will benefit from a service whose dispatch system fits well with the way you work. That way, you won’t miss one call. When you have an answering service that knows exactly what to do, and treats each call as important, you will have the information you need to communicate effectively with each client.

A good answering service should not create more work for you or add more worries. Instead, your answering team should work seamlessly with you. It should lift the burdens of incoming calls and ease your schedule, so you can concentrate on animal care. The answering service should be a trustworthy right hand that you can count on.

The right answering service will give your clients peace of mind in talking with a live person who cares. A good answering team will be an extension of you. The team will provide your level of client service in response to every incoming call. Concerned about your business needs, the best professional answering provider will work flexibly with the way your veterinary practice works – a true partnership of cooperation.

With this checklist in mind, you will be able to assess what an answering service can provide, and see if it’s right for your veterinary business. You can enjoy the spring season with peace of mind, no matter how much those lively furry friends start the phone ringing.

Centratel is an elite national telephone answering service located in Bend, Oregon. Centratel’s Veterinary Answering Service assists hundreds of Veterinary businesses during and after-hours, throughout the United States and is, by a variety of statistics, the highest quality answering service available among the approximately 1,500 services nationwide.

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