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Published by Viva Concepts, 2018-08-13 16:23:02

New Vet Reception


The Masters of Marketing Administration is an educational advancement for training of business owners and their administrative and support staff on the Viva System—a system that puts in place the
ideal residual business model for consumer
acquisition, loyalty and retention.
Copyright © 2018 by Gregory Hughes, Viva Concepts, LLC. All rights reserved. This book or any portion thereof may not be reproduced or used in any manner whatsoever without the express written permission of the publisher except for the use of brief quotations in a book review. Printed in the United States of America. Second Print, 2018.

The receptionist is the first point of contact for anyone that comes into the practice. A competent receptionist will acquire more clients for the practice and will also improve the health of the animals. A poor receptionist will drive the clients away which may result in animals NOT getting the care they need. It is thus of crucial importance for a receptionist to understand the importance of their position.
The receptionist plays a vital role in the long term growth of any veterinary practice. The functions of the receptionist are innumerable and require a study in human relations, manners, helpfulness and etiquette.
The receptionist is a messenger for the owner’s vision of how to treat, provide service for and communicate with new and existing consumers.
The most important qualities in a receptionist or “messenger” are conduct and skilled social intercourse when interfacing with people, whether in person or on the phone.
Definition of conduct: personal behavior and way of acting.
It is important to understand that the conduct of an individual consists of specific attributes (a quality, character, or characteristic).
For a receptionist, critical attributes are such things as a helpful attitude, a constant smile, care, compassion, understanding, personal appearance, physical dress and listening ability, all of which fall under the umbrella of excellent communication skills and granting of importance to the consumer!
These attributes and skills are learned through education and practice. Perfecting these skills results in the highest volume of new referrals for a business.
A receptionist with a crass, sharp attitude and appearance is the a major liability for any business formula for failure for any business.
Consumers remember how they were treated just like you remember how you were treated when obtaining any service or purchasing items from any provider.
Our primary objective with the receptionist and any staff member is improving their skills through education and application of that education in the veterinary practice.

The purpose of this course is to teach the student the laws and the procedure on how to convert new callers into scheduled appointments who arrive for service

Receptionist Training
The receptionist training consists of practice and drilling using specific rules and laws that steadily increase one’s ability to convert a new caller (a new potential client) about a service or price.
It requires training to become skilled and proficient. This manual covers the subject of conversion.
Definition of conversion: “The point at which a recipient of a marketing message performs a desired action.” In other words, conversion is simply getting someone to respond to your marketing piece, its offer or its call-to-action.
The topics that will be covered are: Topic 1: The Single Channel
Topic 2: The Laws of Conversion

The Single Channel
The most important aspect of acquiring new clients from ALL marketing efforts is understanding “The Single Channel.” The below diagram illustrates how all marketing efforts, from all types of marketing and advertising, are channeled through a SINGLE person: the receptionist. The value of a receptionist and her skill and competence at converting new price shoppers and people who inquire about services of the practice is in fact one of the most vital factors in the expansion and growth of any practice. It cannot be underestimated.
Pay Per Click
Direct Mail
Internal Referrals

Making All Your Marketing Work
The cost of acquiring new clients is CONTROLLED by the ability of the receptionist to CONVERT new callers (enquirers) into scheduled appointments! The ONLY channel to new client enquirers entering your practice is through a SINGLE CHANNEL. And that channel is the receptionist!
Receptionist Office
Every single call generated from ANY type of marketing comes through a SINGLE CHANNEL. And that channel is the receptionist.

The Actual Cost of Low Conversion Rates
New Client Annual Value
The nationwide average value of each new client in the first year is between $650 to $800.
According to surveys conducted by the American Academy Veterinary Medical Association research showed that a new client (pet) in their first year, have a national average value of $650 - $800.
What does this mean for the receptionist? Not only does each new client (or client) spend an average of around $700, there is an additional cost to acquire a new client for every veterinary clinic across the country. The cost of acquisition of a new client averages $65 per client.
Remember, if the client does not come into your practice and acquire regular health care for his or her pet, then it is ultimately the pet that suffers.
Cost of Client Acquisition
Again the average cost for new client acquisition nationwide averages $65 per client. However, most practices have never calculated the actual cost. To guess is to think one knows when he doesn’t. Most practitioners don’t have the personnel or the time to obtain the data and metrics. At the end of the day, the cost to obtain a new client is expensive and this expense needs to be known.
Cost of New Client Acquisition
Value of New Client = Within 12 Months
Actual Cost for New Enquirer Not Converted

How Does a Low Conversion Rate Effect the Practice? 31 Calls Not Converted Out of Every 40
$765 X 31 = $23,715
Monthly Revenue Loss
$23,715 X 12 = $284,580
Months/year Annual Revenue Loss

Conversion: Lowering the Cost of Marketing
How Conversion of New Callers Lowers the Cost of Marketing
The cost of marketing begins with the salary of the receptionist. Why is this? Because every business has what is called a “marketing cycle.” The marketing cycle, while quite simple, must be fully understood by the owner, the office manager and anyone receiving calls from new consumers—most importantly the receptionist!
The “marketing cycle” is simplified below and illustrates how any and all advertising or promotion will cause a response or a call of action to the business.
Direct Mail
Local Neighborhood Area
Responses to Marketing Offer
$ Dollars Marketing & Advertising
Veterinary Clinic
5 Responses Generated

Doing the Math
The math in the following example illustrates how a receptionist can lower or increase the marketing cost of a new client. Let us assume that an office purchases a direct mail marketing campaign of 10,000 neighborhood mailers.
In today’s market, the average cost of 10,000 post cards or similar is approximately fifty cents per piece (0.50), which means the owner paid $5,000 for the campaign.
The national average response rate to direct mail according to the Direct Mail Association of America (DMA) is .002% (this is two-tenths of 1%). This means that 10,000 post cards will generate approximately 20 phone calls!
The math is simply 10,000 post cards X .002% = 20 calls
The Below Math Shows How the Cost per Client Changes with Conversion
5 Calls Converted to Appointments:
$1,000 per client
5 $5,000 (cost of the campaign)
10 Calls Converted to Appointments:
$500 per client
10 $5,000 (cost of the campaign)
15 Calls Converted to Appointments:
$333 per client
15 $5,000 (cost of the campaign)

How To Measure & Log Your Conversion Rate
There are many ways to measure or keep track of your office’s conversion rate. There are two methods which are the most simple:
1. Use the incoming “phone id #” that shows up when anyone calls the office.
2. If you do not have “phone id #s” then, at the very beginning of the call, simply ask, “Is it okay if I get your name and number in case we get cut off.”
Keeping Score of Your Conversion
The procedure is simple and is illustrated in the below diagram. The following steps are used to track your conversion percent of new callers:
1. It is best to monitor new call conversion on a weekly basis.
This means that your “New Caller Log” is filled out week by week.
All weekly sheets are retained by placing them in a folder.
2. Use the Call Conversion Log which consists of new caller phone number (diagram on opposite page).
3. Using the phone numbers from your “New Caller Log,” go to your practice management software and “search” for the 1st phone number on the list.
4. If the phone number appears in your practice management software, then put a by the phone number.
5. When you have checked all the phone numbers from your “New Caller Log” then add the total number of clients that have made appointments for their pets and arrived for their service.
Note: In searching for a phone number in your practice management software, the conversion is only counted IF THE PERSON HAS ARRIVED FOR SERVICE. If they have not yet arrived, the conversion is not counted.

New Call Conversion Log
New Caller Log
Weekending __________________ Name of Call Converter___________________
Date Phone # Name
Note: File this weekly form in a monthly folder. % Converted _______

Procedure for Calculating & Filing Conversion %
Using your New Client Conversion Log go to your software and search for the phone number for each entry and put a by the ones that arrived for their appointments.
Jan 2
Bob Jones
Jan 3
Jan 3
Jan 4
Josie S.
Jan 4
Ann Boyd
Jan 4
Debbie B.
Jan 5
Jessica K.
Jan 5
Bridget Smith
Jan 7
Koko T.
Jan 7
Jan 7
Anna Z.
Note: 7 new arrivals match the New Caller Log phone #s and/or names
Jan 2-7 Weekending __________________
Alice Fritz
Name of Call Converter___________________
Phone # Name
New Caller Log
Note: File this weekly form in a monthly folder. % Converted _7__0__%__

Filing the Weekly New Caller Log
Each week the New Caller Log is filed in its monthly folder. Most months will have 4 reports filed in its monthly folder. But some months will have 5 depending on how the weeks fall on the calendar year.
Week 4 Week 3
Week 2 Week 1
Calculating the % Conversion
To calculate your % Conversion simply divide the number of new clients arrived by
the # of New Callers listed in your New Caller Log:
7 10 = 70% Conversion
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16
New Caller Log
1 Jan 4 2 Jan 4 3 Jan 5 4 Jan 5 5
New CaJlolseierSL. og
665-3255 Bob Jones Weekendin6g6_5_-_4J_a2_n_1_29_-_1_4________ NamAnenofBCaolyl Cdonverter____A_l_i_c_e_F__ri_t_z______
Jan 6 Jan 7 Jan 8
7 7 7
Weekending6_6_5_-J_4a_n2_1_2_2-_7_________ NamAenonf CBaoll yCdonverter____A_l_i_c_e_F__ri_t_z______ Ja6n653-3787 665-25K2o2ko T. Greg
Not1e4: 15 16
665-1022 665-4485
Anna Z.
9 9 10 11 12 13
Jan 6 Jan 7 Jan 8
7 7 7
Jan6635-3787 665-252K2oko T. 665-3597
Jan6635-1124 665-162A8rmond
Ann Boyd Greg
Jan 2 Jan 3 Jan 3 Jan 4
665-2522 Greg 665-3597 Debbie B.
1 Jan 4 2 Jan 4 3 Jan5 4 Jan 5 5
665-6545 New CalJolesire SL.og Ja6n652-9866 665-32B5r5idget Smith Bob Jones
9 9 10
Koko T. Armond
New Caller Log
Weekending ___J_a_n__2_3__-2__8______ Name of Call Converter____A_l_i_c_e_F__ri_t_z______
Date Phone #
Jan 2 665-3255 Weekending ___J_a_n__1_6__-2__1______
Bob Jones
Name of Call Converter____A_l_i_c_e_F__ri_t_z______
Jan 3 Jan 3 Jan 4
665-2522 665-1628 665-6545
1 Jan 4 2 Jan 4 3 Jan 5 4 Jan 5 5 Jan 7 6 Jan 7 7 Jan 7
Jan6625-9866 665-325B5ridgetSmith BobJones
File this weekly f8orm in aJamno5nthly folder. 11 9 Jan 7
665-9866 665-3787 665-1124
13 Not1e4: 15 16
665-4485 File this weekly form in a monthly folder.
12 9 Jan 7
10 Jan 7 11
Phone #
665-1628 Besty D6a6t5e-1022 JPehssoicnaeK#.
665-3597 Debbie B. Ja6n653-1124 665-16A2r8mond Besty
D6a6te5-1022 PJehsosincaeK#. Name Ja6n654-4485 665-65A4n5na Z. Josie S.
Jan6645-4485 665-654A5nna Z.
Jessica K.
Josie S.
Jan 4 Jan 4 Jan 5
665-3787 665-3597
Ann Boyd
No1te4: File this weekly form in a monthly folder. 15
665-9866 665-4212
Bridget Smith
Debbie B. Jessica K. Bridget Smith Koko T. Armond Anna Z.
Note: File this weekly form in a monthly folder.
Debbie B. Besty
% Converted _______
November December

An Effort to Stay on the Phone: Key Factor
An Effort to “Get Off the Phone” or “Stay on the Phone?”
The front office of any practice has many periods during the day where there is “heavy traffic” for the receptionist and other front offic personnel as they have New Clients walking in, forms to fill out, clients leaving needing new appointments, the office phone ringing, a second line on the phone ringing, a client leaving that has a question about their bill and someone in the back asking “do you know where the chart is for Anna Dobson?
Many offices have clients coming to see the tech, sometimes two or more techs as well as all the clients that are seen by the doctor. This causes an enormous amount of interaction and to say the least, the receptionist is bombarded at peak periods during the day.
When “heavy traffic” is hitting the front office and the phone rings from a new caller, the receptionist has one primary EFFORT with this call during times of heavy traffic. That effort is to GET OFF THE PHONE. There are one or more clients in front of the receptionist and the demands of a client, that is in front of the receptionist or front office staff, is to give the attention and effort to the person standing in front of them. The effort to calmly answer the phone and remain on the phone to ask questions and convert the caller is dramatically diminished due to the people in front of you.
The largest factor in losing new callers is lack of time spent in asking questions so the conversion rate goes down and the client is lost.
Why? Because the receptionist has an Effort to Get off the Phone!
An Effort to Stay on the Phone—The Key to High Conversion Rate
The most key factor to high conversion rate is the time spent on the phone with the new caller! Conversion rate increases with TIME on the phone with the new caller. The key and most important factor to conversion over all other factors is:
An Effort to Stay on the Phone!

Why There is an Effort to Get Off the Phone!
Case Acceptance Finacial Arrangements Client Questions
With phone calls, demands for filling out forms, exiting clients for appointments, financial and case acceptance questions and demands for charts, where is this and that...the reception has an effort to get off the phone!

The Most Importance Factor of Conversion
Conversion Rate Breakthrough—Industry Research
Over the last two decades there has been an increasing amount of marketing throughout the industry. With the advent (arrival or appearance) of internet, digital marketing and a demand for more clients, the subject of converting new callers has became a vital factor.
The amount of marketing dollars increases dramatically if the new callers, (who respond from all marketing efforts), is not converted into a scheduled appointment.
The largest marketing budgets are spent by veterinarian chains, such as Banfield and a host of others which have escalated over the past 20 years. These organizations own multiple offices and their marketing budgets are enormous.
As such, they too ran into the problem of conversion rates being too low. Their solution was to open call centers where all new callers. The entire reason was to accomplish higher conversion and to put in place the most vital rule to conversion:
An Effort to Stay on the Phone!
The conversion rates rapidly rose to 60%-85%, which dramatically lowered their cost of acquiring a new client.
How a Higher Conversion Rate Lowers All Marketing Cost
Here is an example of how a high conversion rate lowers all marketing costs.
An owner purchases 10,000 direct mail pieces for local neighborhoods at a cost of .50 per piece.
At .50 per mailing piece X 10,000 pieces the owner paid $5,000 for his marketing campaign. 10,000 direct mail pieces will generate about 20 phone calls (.002% is the national average).
5 calls converted to a scheduled client: 10 calls converted to a scheduled client: 15 calls converted to a scheduled client:
$5,000 ÷ 5 new clients = $1,000 per client $5,000 ÷ 10 new clients = $500 per client $5,000 ÷ 15 new clients = $333 per client

Time Versus Conversion Rate
The below chart is a long term industry study which illustrates the most vital factor to apply for increasing the conversion rate of new callers. As the chart below shows, the longer the time spent on the phone with a client, the higher the conversion rate.
100% 75% 50% 25%
How the Most Vital Function of the Reception is Easily Lost
When a receptionist is hired it becomes very easy to “dilute” or “lessen” their most vital function in the office—which is identifying a new caller and skillfully answering questions to bring them into the business as a new consumer.
Before we identify the receptionist’s most important function, let us first establish a fact that is undeniable:
The business cannot function or receive a single call from a new client or consumer unless a receptionist is present to answer the phone during business hours. The receptionist salary is a 100% marketing cost—as without one, new consumers cannot be brought into the business.
The receptionist’s most vital function is receiving new client calls responding to any marketing offer or a referral calling in to make an appointment.
Minutes on the Phone
Conversion %

How the receptionist Key Function is Lost
How does the receptionist Position become “diluted” or “lessened?”
The way the receptionist position becomes “diluted” or “lessened” in performing its most vital function is because most every receptionist has multiple duties and tasks—and each of the duties are important and need to be performed: filling out forms, pulling charts, making appointments, handling finance questions, answering questions from clients, hosting and helping with new clients, cleaning, handling machinery, computers, copiers and so on.
In the midst of all these functions, the MOST VITAL FUNCTION can become less important. The remedy is to treat new incoming calls as a priority. This is done by organizing the
receptionist so he or she can focus on the new call without interuptions. This gives adequate time to stay on the phone to control the conversation and ask sufficient questions of concern to convert the new caller into a scheduled appointment.
How to Make a Front Office Receptionists Have Sufficient Time to Stay on the Phone
There are easy steps to organize the front office receptionist (call conversion specialist) to bring about an effort to stay on the phone and dramaticallly increase the conversion rate:
1. Only ONE person is the key call conversion specialist in the office, called the New Client Coordinator.
2. All new call inquiries (any price question or new caller) is always transferred to the New Client Coordinator.
3. When the New Client Coordination receives a new client caller, he or she answers the call away from the key traffic and “noise” area of the practice.
4. The New Client Coordinator learns all the key elements of conversion and becomes
a specialist, keeping track of her conversion rate and over time, becomes better and better.

The Laws of Enquirer & Conversion

New Call Enquirers
Learning the Callers Scale of Importance
The different types of calls that occur in a practice vary greatly in terms of their importance. The scale below illustrates how important each type of call is on a scale of of 1 - 10. The calls are placed on the scale in terms of how difficult is it to handle the call.
For example, an existing client in pain is relatively simple to handle as anyone knows that you just have the client bring their pet to see the veterinarian. A client with a question about their bill or insurance has a high value as any client calling usually has a question about the bill being too high or not what they expected. Incorrectly handled, the office can lose a client. A new inquiry is also at the top as the cost of losing a conversion averages $765.
There are a variety of calls a receptionist receives during the day. Calls such as: I need to change my appointment
I have a question about my bill
I need to cancel my appointment
Can you explain my bill?
Are you open on weekends?
I need to refill my prescription
My pet is in pain
What is the cost to spay my cat?
Post-op questions
Supply & vendor calls
The two circled above are very different because these types of calls involve and concern a law which is critical to know.
This is called the Law of Enquirer. This law is explained on the following page.

Callers: Scale of Importance
What Makes a Call Important on the Scale?
When determining if a call is important and placing it on the scale illustrated below, the factor that makes a call important is the following:
Will the Call Increase or Decrease the Size of the Active Database?
Here are some examples: Converting a new caller increases the size of the active database. Losing
a client because their of their upset with their bill can lose a client from the database. A cancelled appointment, not handled correctly, is a client lost out of the database. A cancelled tech appointment is again, another lost client out of the database.
The “Callers Scale of Importance” is illustrated below which give a guide as to the importance of the variety of calls that were listed on the opposite page.
Are you open on weekends?
What is the to spay my cat?
9 I need to cancel my appointment
8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1
Can you explain my billing?
I have a question about my bill
My pet is in pain
Post op questions about their pet
I need to change my appointment
Supply & vendor calls

Law of Enquirer
The Law of Enquirer
When any new consumer calls your office, your marketing conclusively worked, the owner paid for it and the individual is already a buyer... they just haven’t given you the check.
There is no call that comes into the office where the consumer did not respond to some form of marketing or advertising. Whether it is from the website, direct mail, a referral, the sign on the building, YELP, or any other form of marketing or advertising, the marketing worked and the business owner paid for it!
Law of Conversion
The Law of Conversion
1. To convert new consumer enquirers, you must control the conversation.
2. To control the conversation, you must ask questions of concern for at least several minutes or more.

Conversion Sequence Drill
The Conversion Sequence Drill
Put the Laws of Conversion into practice by using the Conversion Sequence
Every time a client calls in as a new inquiry, you have to convert that person through four exact steps.
The sequence of actions to convert ALL new callers is the same:
Step 1: New inquiry calls the office (identifying the new caller)
Step 2: Ask the KEY question:
“Is it okay if I ask you a few questions before I give you
the best price?” Or similar type question.
Step 3: Ask questions of concern for at least several minutes
Step 4: Schedule their appointment without turning the control back over to the new caller

Step 1:
New Enquirer Calls the Office
Use the Law of Enquirer: Your Marketing Worked! And, the Doctor Paid for It!
Note: Every new enquirer that is LOST is an actual revenue loss in excess of $1,000.
New enquirer calls the office

Step 2:
Ask the KEY Question
Is it okay if I ask you a few questions before I give you the price?
Controlling the Conversation

Step 3:
Ask Questions of Concern
Ask Questions of Concern on the subject they are calling about.
Answers Questions
Controlling the Conversation

Step 4:
Schedule the Appointment
Always give the client two choices when scheduling an appointment.
Confirms Appointment
Controlling the Conversation


Conversion Sequence Drill Example
There are ways to convert new inquiry calls into scheduled appointments. There are wrong ways and right ways of handling incoming calls. A trained receptionist immediately recognizes the new enquirers. The receptionist takes control of
the conversation by asking questions of concern and converts the calls into appointments.
The following is an example of a wrong way and a right way to handle a new enquirer.

Wrong Way Example
Client Controls the Conversation
What is the cost to spay my cat?
Controlling the Conversation

We don’t give prices over the phone!
Okay, thank you. Goodbye!.
Controlling the Conversation

Right Way Example
Receptionist Controls the Conversation
Is it okay if I ask you a few questions before I give you the price?
Controlling the Conversation

Whats your pet’s name?
Controlling the Conversation

Right Way Example
Receptionist Controls the Conversation
Oh, thats a great name! How old is your cat?
She is 7 month old.
Controlling the Conversation

Has your cat gone into heat?
I have no idea!
Controlling the Conversation

Right Way Example
Receptionist Controls the Conversation
Thank you. Just a few more questions. When was the last time you took her to a vet?
Controlling the Conversation
About 4 months ago!

Thank you, your information is very helpful. By the way, how did you find out about our office?
My friend at work told me.
Controlling the Conversation

Right Way Example
Receptionist Controls the Conversation
Great. Let me answer your question about price so I can assist you.
Controlling the Conversation

The cost of spaying your cat in our area averages between $150 on the low side and as high as $450 on the high side.
Controlling the Conversation

Right Way Example
Receptionist Controls the Conversation
Let me help you a bit.
We definitely recommend all cats to be spayed. Because she gets some health benefits as a result.
Controlling the Conversation

Your female cat is
less likely to develop mammary gland tumors, which are most often cancerous....
Controlling the Conversation
Uh huh!

Right Way Example
Receptionist Controls the Conversation
Mammary tumor cancer is most easily prevented by spaying the cat before her first heat, which usually occurs around 6 months of age.
What we do for Misha is we can schedule a complimentary exam with our doctor so she can see how we can help her!
Controlling the Conversation
That sounds great!

We can see you right away. We have an appointment this afternoon or tomorrow in the morning. What time is best for you?
Controlling the Conversation
Tomorrow morning is perfect.

Right Way Example
Receptionist Controls the Conversation
Appointment Book
See you tomorrow!
Call Converted to a Scheduled appointment

Conversion Procedure
The following pages have further examples demonstrating the Laws of Conversion and the Sequence Drill as they apply to new inquiries.
The Sequence Drill is always the same in answering any inquiry that calls the office. The sequence is 4 steps:
1) Identify the inquirer and determine the dialogue you will use.
2) Ask the key question, “Is it okay if I ask you a few questions before I give you the price (or give you the
3) Ask “Questions of Concern” repeatedly for at least several minutes or more.
4) Schedule the appointment.

Overview in Handling Conversions
Learn the Laws
Learn your laws well and know them cold! Study and use them as this is how your competence will improve.
Laws of Conversion
1. To convert new consumer inquiries, you must control the conversation.
2. To control the conversation, you must ask questions of concern for at least
several minutes or more.
Law of Enquirer
When any new consumer calls your office, your marketing conclusively worked, the owner paid for it and the individual is already a buyer...they just haven’t given you the check.
Practice Drilling
The way to become expert is to drill different buyer questions until you can smoothly convert new callers into scheduled appointment!

Grading Your Progress

Keep track of your new client enquirers by making a logbook so you can find out and improve your conversion rate. Your progress can be monitored (by yourself) and is shown on the below “Conversion Measuring Scale.”
25% 40% 40%

Click to View FlipBook Version