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Keep the lines open
Q: How many incoming phone lines does my practice need for each veterinarian?
Q How many incoming phone lines does my practice need for each veterinarian?
Sheila Grosdidier, RVT, a consultant with VMC Inc. in Evergreen Colo., offers these general phone line rules.
1. Plan for one phone line for each full-time veterinarian, plus one. "So, if you have three full-time veterinarians, you generally need four phone lines," she says.
2. Consider a line utilization study. Many phone companies will do one if asked. "This study analyzes the call volume on your lines in 30-minute increments and highlights the need for additional lines or other phone services such as DSL," Grosdidier says.
3. Don't split a phone line with a credit card machine. "You don't want to be without the ability to process charges when you need it," she says.
4. Don't ignore a busy signal. "If you hear clients are getting a busy signal, consider an additional phone line," says Grosdidier, "before they try another number—like the one for the clinic down the street."
Grosdidier says to remember that these are general guidelines—and that the phone company can be a great resource for helping you get the most out of your phone system.