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Q. Our practice is getting busier. How can we keep a personal touch?

Q. Our practice is getting busier. How can we keep a personal touch?

"Maintaining a personal touch requires time and effort," says Pam Weakley, a Firstline Editorial Advisory Board member and the practice manager at Dickman Road Veterinary Clinic in Battle Creek, Mich. First, implement training to improve your team's efficiency. When you work efficiently, it will be easier to find the extra time to keep your conversations personal.

Pam Weakley

Receptionists should greet each client and patient by name. When clients are waiting, say, "Someone will help you shortly," to tell them you're aware of their needs. And always smile.

Veterinary assistants and technicians should keep clients engaged during visits and take every opportunity to talk with clients before, during, and after exams. For example, make conversation while taking patients' history and offer coffee or water when they wait. Communicate hospitalized pets' care and condition so any team member can update their owners when they call. And always give clients a chance to ask questions. Practice managers can greet long-term clients, welcome new clients, help clients who need a little extra assistance, and offer practice tours.

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