It all comes down to appreciating who the client is and who their animal is.
"How to engage with clients?" asks Carolyn Shadle, PhD, owner of Interpersonal Communication Services, Inc. "I think it comes down to appreciating who they are, who their animal is—who their friend is that they're bringing—and including both of them in the greeting, and being understanding of how bonded they are to their pets or to their animal, and how much they want to bring that bond—the 2 of them together—into the veterinary clinic.
So, the first thing the receptionist, or whoever is going to be greeting, them can do is to call them both by name and welcome them and give them an invitation to either wait in the waiting room if they've already got an appointment or ask them how they could be helped. Make it a very open-ended question so that whoever's coming in, if they have a problem or if they're angry or if they're in a hurry, they could express that and then that gives the receptionist a chance to really hear where somebody's coming from and try to channel their needs in the right direction."