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Leadership

CSR

The Gift of Gab

Talk the Talk

A well-trained CSR team will confidently and knowledgeably engage clients. The return on investment is greater efficiency.

You’ve undoubtedly heard the question, “Do you want it done fast or right?” You might respond, “Both!” Here’s another question: Would you rather have a client service representative (CSR) spend three minutes or six minutes quoting fees over the phone to a potential client? Given how busy your practice is, you’d prefer three minutes. But […]

needle

Take the Fear Out of Injections

Fearless

A series of small steps will pay off with a happier pet, a relieved client and stress-free return visits.

One of my clients used to joke that she did more shopping when she saw me at the veterinary hospital than she did at the grocery store or on Amazon. She’d buy food for all four of her pets, chronic medications, heartworm and flea/tick preventives, treats, toys, harnesses, toothbrushes, and even ID tags and collars. […]

veterinary boss employee

Hunger Pangs, Bad Behavior and Equipment Envy

Opening Shots

Opening Shots columnist Dr. Ernie Ward answers your questions.

Q: We’re super busy and probably understaffed. I’m OK that we never get to eat lunch, but my boss gets frustrated when I sit down to grab water and snacks in between appointments. What can I do? A: I feel your pain and hunger. Tell your boss that I’m frustrated by the number of veterinarians […]

working interview

Auditioning for a Job

Take Charge

Remember to follow the rules when you bring an applicant into the hospital to shadow a team member or do actual work.

Finding the perfect candidate to fill an open veterinary position is often a challenge. After you conduct a résumé review, reference check and 30-minute conversation, you still might not know whether the interviewee truly possesses the skills, knowledge and personality necessary for success. Inviting top candidates into the clinic for a job shadowing opportunity or […]

rules

The Can-Do Charter

Artists create beauty by coloring outside the lines. What if your veterinary team could do — and be — so much more?

I had the opportunity a few years ago to buy into a partnership acquiring a multidoctor small animal hospital. The practice had been privately owned for all of its 30-plus years. During one of our early meetings with the owner-doctor, he enthusiastically showed us his policy book, a 3-inch binder overflowing with sheet after sheet […]

pay raise

What About a Raise?

H.R. Huddle

A request for a pay hike can come at any time. Employees must be prepared when asking for one and managers need to know how to respond.

Veterinary practices, like many other businesses, often award pay raises during annual employee reviews. The timing is logical because it’s a moment for performance-related feedback. But what if you’re a practice team member who thinks you deserve a raise outside of the normal timeframe? For example, you’ve taken on extra duties during the pandemic and […]

employee training

Educate and Document

Getting Technical

Whether you and your employees like it or not, safety training is a must at veterinary clinics.

Many practice managers and employees cringe at the thought of conducting or attending safety training, the most dreaded meeting of the year. Among the excuses heard about why training doesn’t happen regularly and consistently are: we’re too busy; safety training is boring and nobody cares; “it” will never happen to us; getting the whole team […]

manager

Adapt, Change, Repeat

A manager doesn’t always have to be the problem-solver. Becoming a learner again and trusting your staff might deliver better solutions.

“COVID-19 isn’t a big deal. There isn’t anything to worry about!” I said those words in January 2020 and weeks later I was shocked by life’s change of direction. Within months, I went from preparing for a busy year to trying to find my new normal in quarantine. I had expectations and hopes for 2020 […]

communications

It’s About Time

Talk the Talk

Improving your client communications will mean less wasted effort and will help build loyalty and compliance.

Many veterinary practices are dealing with staff shortages, increased caseloads, more client demands and curbside care inefficiencies. This is why it’s imperative to streamline client communications while still focusing on building trust and rapport. Combining efficiency with client engagement is the key to enhanced loyalty and compliance. Why Communications Are Inefficient Let’s look at some […]

staff conflict

Tattoos, Stress and Staff Conflict

Opening Shots

Opening Shots columnist Dr. Ernie Ward answers your questions.

Q: At least once a week, one of my friends on social media messages me to seek pet advice. Many of the conversations take considerable time. If I respond, “Go to your veterinarian,” my friend says I’m not compassionate. Am I a fake friend or is my friend asking too much? A: Real friends don’t […]

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