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Tip from Firstline Live 2008: Fix your phone troubles


Here's help for overworked receptionists.

It's 5:15, the phone is ringing off the hook, and there's a line five clients long in the waiting area. If receptionists at your practice face this end-of-the-day crush, there's a relatively simple and low-cost solution: Take the phones away from the front desk.

Moving your phones from the reception area to an operator station allows front-desk team members to immediately help clients coming in and heading out, Mark Opperman, CVPM, said to a crowd of veterinary team members attending Firstline Live in Kansas City, Mo. What's more, the team member assigned to the operator station can more quickly assist clients who call the practice.

"You don't have to hire more people for this because your current team members are already doing the job," says Opperman, owner of VMC Inc. in Evergreen Colo. "But with an operator station, they'll just be doing it more efficiently." The receptionists will be less stressed and better able to do their jobs, and clients will appreciate the improved customer service.

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