Customer Service Representative
The purpose of this position is to perform clerical duties related to veterinary care and treatment, closely interact with clients and (small animal) patients, process invoices and payments, handle the cash drawer, and provide miscellaneous support to the veterinarians, veterinary practice manager and other staff members. Operates under the direct supervision of the veterinary practice manager.
- Answer incoming telephone calls utilizing proper telephone etiquette. This would include asking callers before placing them on hold, using your name when answering the phone, “smiling” when talking, and greeting the client in an outgoing manner which will show them excellent customer service from the first point of contact.
- Operate a multiple-line telephone system. Besides answering incoming lines, this includes placing callers on hold, transferring calls, and paging other staff members within the hospital. Take and route messages for veterinarians and other staff members.
- Follow established hospital guidelines for communicating with clients in different types of situations such as general queries, scheduling appointments, routine and non-routine medical questions, patient emergencies, prescription refills, etc.
- Handle basic sub-professional questions regarding hospital services, fees, and animal care and treatment in accordance with hospital policies. Appropriately direct other questions and communication to a veterinarian, practice manager, or other staff members or appropriate voice mailbox.
- Utilize effective listening skills to obtain all necessary medical and personal information from the client. Discern any potential client problems, complaints, or questions and handle appropriately.
- Relay medical instructions, itemize the client statement, and inform clients about hospital policies such as pre-operative instructions, payment and credit policies, and vaccination policies.
- Communicate with clients as needed regarding the medical status of their pet, the total amount of their bill, etc. Make recalls to clients on a timely basis from a call back list.
- Provide clients with any information or instructions they will need prior to their appointment.
- Contact clients to schedule discharge appointments, re-appointments, and confirm appointments and pre-surgical instructions.
- Employ tact, empathy, and diplomacy when dealing with clients upset due to a sick or injured pet; offer special assistance to clients during euthanasia procedures.
- Heartily welcome clients and patients to the practice and provide comfort while they are in the practice. This includes greeting clients, offering bottled water, showing them the waiting area, etc.
- Monitor the length of time clients are waiting and appropriately handle situations where there is an extended wait.
- When speaking with clients, use the client’s name and pet’s name to personalize communication.
- Schedule Management
- Use a computerized scheduling program to schedule out-patient, surgical, hospitalized patient, and boarding appointments.
- Schedule appointments in accordance with established hospital guidelines according to the type of visit.
- Inquire as to which doctor the client wishes to see when scheduling an appointment. If no preference is expressed, appropriately schedule, and inform clients who their veterinarian will be. Schedule follow-up visits with the appropriate doctor.
- Help to “proofread” future appointments for incorrectly scheduled appointments, errors in actual computer schedule, etc.
- Utilize the computer system to accurately enter and retrieve records and reports, enter fees and charges, and maintain the database.
- Generate reports (i.e., call back lists, appointment lists, etc.) using the computer system as directed.
- Have a working knowledge of the VetPortal, PetPortal, clinic email account and clinic website.
- Promote the hospital to people inquiring about the practice, its fees, products and/or services. Offer appointments, reservations, tours, anything which will allow the client to bond to the practice.
- Educate clients regarding preventive medicine and vaccination requirements. Inform clients what procedures need to be done to their pet to maintain good health.
- Distribute handout information, hospital brochures, coupons for new clients, and help to cross market services by letting clients know about the various departments within the practice which may benefit their pet (boarding, grooming, daycare, hospital).
- Promote the practice’s products and services to clients, making suggestions when appropriate.
- Veterinary Knowledge
- Learn and follow the hospital’s policies and protocols.
- Learn basic patient preventative care protocols in terms of vaccine and parasiticides and be able to communicate these to clients.
- Exercise technical knowledge of the practice’s products and services.
- Improve veterinary knowledge and skills by utilizing in-house education materials (i.e., CDs, books, and videos) and by participating in continuing education, staff meetings, and in-house training.
- Retrieve and refile medical records accurately and promptly.
- Purge inactive files as directed.
- Update client files and patient records as needed.
- Prepare to receive appointments by retrieving client records and preparing needed forms in advance of clients’ arrival.
- Complete required forms such as the new client form, release forms, etc., and obtain all necessary information. Note the source of client referrals within the software system.
- Obtain medical and vaccination histories from the client. Recognize and note any procedures due for the patient.
- Follow hospital policies regarding patient admittance (i.e., vaccination status, etc.).
- Relay all necessary information to the doctors and technicians.
- Proofread reminders on file to make sure that client will receive communication for future visits for the patient.
- Present clients with medications, instructions, puppy or kitten kits, and any other items to take home.
- Dispense heartworm and flea medication per hospital policy including providing routine instructions to owners considering these medications.
- Performs over the counter selling of pet supplies and pet foods. Exercise technical knowledge of products sold.
- Reviewing discharge instructions and medications, the services that were rendered to the pet (verbally itemize the client receipt) and inform client of the total amount due.
- Scheduling discharge or follow-up appointments.
- Accept payments from the client. Accurately process cash, checks, charge card payments, credit account payment, and post-dated checks. Assure that clients meet all financial obligations or that acceptable payment arrangements have been made.
- Perform an end-of-day procedure each evening. This would include balancing the cash drawer, running end-of-day computer reports, preparing, and making a bank deposit, and presenting reports and deposit receipts to the practice manager or owner.
- Establish credit in accordance with hospital policies and with the practice manager’s authorization. Formal extended payment plans are offered to clients according to the stipulations on the payment plan form.
Physical Plant Maintenance
- Assist other staff members to clean and straighten the public areas of the practice, including the front of the building and grounds, front desk, reception area, and exam rooms. Demonstrate an attitude of “ownership” by making sure that you take part in providing the best first impression for clients at all times via the cleanliness of grounds and facility.
- Restock and arrange the retail and point of purchase display areas.
- Maintain the refreshment area with bottled water, magazine, tissues, etc.
- Open the practice and set up for the morning as directed.
- Close up the practice for the evening as directed.
- Adhere to all hospital policies and standards regarding uniforms, grooming, smoking, personal calls, etc. as stated in the employee handbook.
- Serve as a representative of the hospital, displaying courtesy, tact, consideration, and a positive attitude in all interactions with clients, patients, and other members of the hospital staff. Demonstrate personalized, superior customer service regarding all client communications and services.
Punctuality and Attendance
- Adhere to the posted work schedule. Arrive for work promptly and be ready to begin working at the start time. Follow hospital policies for reporting lateness or absences.
- Utilize the time clock to clock in and out at the beginning and end of each day.
Demonstrate initiative and teamwork in everyday duties by seeking other work to do during slack times, assisting other employees within the practice, and filling in for other employees as needed.
Organize work area and exercise time management skills to maximize personal efficiency within the practice. Prioritize tasks and handle multiple tasks in a calm, organized manner.
- Attend and participate in scheduled staff meetings on the second Thursday of each month and the fourth Wednesday of each month (regardless of whether a regular shift is scheduled for that day or not) for continuing education both on basic operations of facility as well as veterinary industry knowledge.
- Participate in self-study “homework” assignments given out during meetings in preparation for quizzes over pertinent material.
- Demonstrate initiative to seek knowledge on a continual basis regarding daily duties, operations, and tasks regarding general work but also to continually “as you go” expand knowledge base about veterinary industry in general.
Knowledge and Skills
- Knowledge of general office practices and procedures, receptionist, and telephone techniques.
- Knowledge of spelling and meaning of commonly used terminology of veterinary medicine to accurately record results of tests and interpret medical records.
- Ability to perform clerical work with speed and accuracy, use a multiple-line telephone system, handle cash and other forms of payment, and interact closely with clients and pets daily.
- Ability to provide excellent customer service to clients. Shows a genuine desire to bond clients to the practice both on the job and off the job if the opportunity presents.
- Genuine desire to above all care for and be an advocate for the pet.
All candidates to which offers of employment are made shall upon hire successfully complete a Background Check screening prior to first date of employment.
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