We pulled the phones from our front reception area, and we've never looked back.
We removed the phones from our front reception area—with great success. We converted a seldom-used coat closet into a phone center, complete with counter, computer, and phones. Now the phones only ring in the phone room and in the nearby pharmacy.
We have three to four receptionists on duty at any time. One stays up front to greet clients and invoice them, one stays at the phone station, and the other one or two float between the two areas.
The phone room is located directly behind the reception area. The receptionist stationed there answers incoming calls, schedules appointments and boarding reservations, and pulls files for upcoming appointments. With this support, the receptionist up front can give clients his or her full attention. We never know who's on the other end of that phone call, so it's important to give all callers equal attention. Every client is important—those standing in front of us, and those calling in.
Angie Hartin is the bookkeeper and assistant manager at Hawthorne Animal Hospital in Glen Carbon, Ill.