5 Criteria to Find the Right Answering Service for Your Veterinary Clinic

Samir Sampat

People love their animals, and they want to make sure that they get the necessary care and medical attention they deserve. If you’re running a veterinary clinic, you have a tall order and a lot of expectant clients that are looking to you to be available whenever they may need you.  

Unfortunately, if you run a veterinary clinic, you also have a lot of work on your plate in taking care of the animals in the first place. Hiring a front desk staff helps check in patients and manage the office, but often, even those people don’t have the time necessary to field all the calls that are coming in. This is where an answering service can come in handy for your veterinary clinic. 

There are several different types of answering services and virtual receptionists available today to ensure that your business never misses a single call, whether it’s an emergency patient who ate something he shouldn’t have or a client calling after business hours to schedule a routine visit for their pet. In order to find the right one, there are a few things that you’ll want to keep in mind. 

1. 24/7 availability

As a vet, you understand the need for your patients to have access to 24-hour care. There are some emergency hospitals and 24-hour clinics dedicated to after-hours care, but wouldn’t it be better if pets could come to their regular vet? With a 24/7 answering service, you’ll ensure that you never miss a call and that your four-legged clients never go without the care they deserve. 

This also makes it easier for people to schedule appointments and get information outside of normal business hours. For example, someone who works days might only be able to call after 6 PM to make an appointment. You’re probably not still in the office, so having an answering service to field the call would ensure they don’t have to leave a message or wait for a response. 

2. Professional experience 

Answering services are not all created equally. You’re going to want to make sure that you take the time to vet the company you choose (pun fully intended). Look at how long they’ve been in business, what kind of professional services they offer, and how they work as an extension of your clinic and not a static third-party service. 

This is also a good time to check reviews and testimonials from people who have used these services in the past. Look for high ratings and reviews from those who saw an improvement in their communications after working with the answering service and you’ll generally experience similar results. 

3. Customization and scalability

Perhaps the best thing about the solutions available today is that technology makes everything totally scalable and customizable. Answering services should be able to create a custom plan that fits the needs of your vet clinic, no matter how big or small those might be. They should also be able to grow with you over time, adding more agents or changing call services as required. Otherwise, you’re going to run the risk of having to switch services when your business grows and that’s a lot of hassle that you don’t need. 

4. Transparent pricing

There may be some cases where a custom quote is required for service. However, it should be the exception, not the rule. Get to know the plans and services available from various answering services and make sure that they come with transparent pricing information or payment structures. The most reputable companies are completely transparent and upfront about their pricing and plans because they know that your money is valuable, and you want to make sure that it’s well-spent. 

The competitive nature of the Internet makes it easier than ever to get transparent pricing from all types of companies, including answering services and other professional services. 

5. Features and services

Most commonly, you’ll appreciate included services like appointment scheduling and overflow call handling, but several different features are available from the modern answering service. You should check to see what each company offers and make sure that it fits your needs. If you’re not quite sure what you need, take advantage of a consultation to discuss the different features that you can add to your answering service so that it delivers the dynamic solution that your vet clinic needs. 

There are so many different features available from the modern answering service and some can even assist with other admin tasks, outreach and marketing, outbound call-backs, temporary receptionist services, and even assistance with things like payment collection and sales development. Take advantage of that and get as much as you can from your chosen service. 

The benefits of an answering service

If you do it right, your vet clinic can find several benefits from investing in an answering service. A few of them are also criteria when choosing a service to work with, interestingly enough:

  • More cost-effective solutions 
  • 24/7 service 
  • Total customization 
  • Wide selection of features and services
  • Reduced overhead costs
  • A professional image for your vet clinic
  • Increased productivity in the office
  • Capture every opportunity

Answering services also give you the chance to avoid using automated systems and IVR (interactive voice response) unless absolutely necessary. Today’s audience likes the idea of a real, live person answering the phone, so you will instantly make a better impression than the competition when you offer this, and they don’t. 

Custom communications solutions and more from Smith.ai

If you’re looking for a total solution for your vet clinic, Smith.ai has what you need. In addition to the 24/7 answering service that you require, we can also assist with appointment scheduling, new client intake, and even things like live website chat. Plus, when you need to be looped in, we’ll make sure that you get the information. 

It all includes a custom strategy that allows our virtual receptionists to cover all the solutions you need for communications, admin, and more. To learn more, schedule a consultation or reach out to hello@smith.ai.

Samir Sampat

Samir Sampat is a Marketing and Events Associate with Smith.ai. He has experience working with businesses of all sizes focusing on marketing, communications, and business development.

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