Because pet ownership has become more prevalent over the past three decades , veterinary professionals and practices are essential in the healthcare industry, even though their target demographic doesn’t include humans. Many veterinary practices need help to keep up with the increasing demand for their services. Between managing patient records, scheduling appointments, and rendering care, the workload can quickly overwhelm what an ordinary practice can handle.
In recent years, many medical practices have integrated digital technology into providing care for their patients, such as outsourcing virtual medical assistants for specific job roles in their practice. With the rise of pet ownership in the US, these virtual talents have grown to include virtual veterinary assistants.
Virtual veterinary assistants help practices increase efficiency, productivity, and profitability by filling receptionist jobs. To keep practices from getting overwhelmed by their workload, virtual veterinary receptionists take on many tasks, including:
Answering phone calls
Because there is a considerable demand for veterinary services, phones often ring off the hook. Every call needs to be answered because if it’s not an inquiry about services or veterinarian availability, it’s for an urgent matter that the practice needs to attend to. Furthermore, consistently answering phone calls helps veterinary practices put their patients first and avoid oversights.
When the phone is ringing off the hook, there’s likely to be many appointments from pet owners. Virtual veterinary receptionists help by scheduling these appointments, which includes optimizing veterinarians’ availability to accommodate as many pets as possible without subjecting themselves to burnout. In addition, virtual veterinary receptionists also take care of rescheduling missed appointments to maintain the practice’s overall productivity.
While some pet owners cancel their appointments for valid reasons, others miss them simply because they forget. To keep the practice’s schedule on track, a virtual veterinary receptionist can remind pet owners of their appointment an hour or a day in advance. Apart from appointment reminders, they can help pet owners stay on top of their pet’s vaccination dates and other critical veterinary matters they should keep track of, such as deworming frequency and routine checkups.
Because veterinary terms can get very technical, pet owners can get confused with post-appointment pet care, medications, and treatments. Being at the front line of the practice, virtual veterinary receptionists are in a perfect position to promptly clarify any confusion about veterinary jargon. In addition, they can also provide supplementary information to help pet owners care for their pets better.
Pet owners usually need to fill up specific paperwork or online forms upon arriving at the practice for their pet’s appointment. Because virtual veterinary receptionists are on the front line, they are in the best position to oversee and facilitate this endeavor. The data collected from pet owners should be encoded and filed appropriately to help veterinarians fulfill their responsibility and improve the practice’s credibility.
Advantages of hiring a virtual veterinary receptionist
Undoubtedly, the most compelling reason why practices integrate virtual receptionists – or any virtual team member – into their existing staff is that they are cost-effective in more ways than one.
For starters, virtual veterinary receptionists help practices save up to 70% in compensation compared to their in-house equivalent. Furthermore, practice leaders get to save even more money by sourcing their virtual veterinary receptionist from a virtual assistant company that provides employment benefits on their behalf, further reducing the costs of virtual veterinary receptionists.
Because they are used to working remotely, virtual veterinary receptionists are naturally self-reliant. This independence means they secure their work-related assets, such as a computer and a reliable internet connection, without depending on the practice they work for. This trait also contributes to VAs needing minimal training because they tend to learn the ropes by themselves quickly.
To sum it up, integrating a virtual veterinary receptionist helps practices accomplish more while saving time, money, and effort.
How to find the ideal virtual veterinary receptionist
When looking for a virtual veterinary receptionist, practice leaders must consider several requirements and qualities to find the best person for the job. First and foremost, the candidate should be an excellent communicator so that they can handle customer inquiries and complaints professionally and empathetically. They should also have a solid understanding of the veterinary industry, including but not limited to common procedures and terminologies.
Because the scope of a virtual veterinary receptionist’s responsibility is relatively broad, the ideal candidate should have impeccable time management and organizational skills to navigate multiple tasks efficiently. Moreover, they should know how to prioritize tasks effectively and work well under pressure because managing numerous appointments and tasks is not always easy.
There are various places where practice leaders can find qualified and excellent virtual veterinary receptionists. However, the most reliable and convenient is a virtual assistant company that matches veterinary practices with their ideal candidate.
Virtual assistant companies specialize in sourcing and screening candidates for the most suitable match based on the practice’s needs. They have dedicated teams who handle job postings, spearhead candidate interviews, and provide internal training for newcomers.
It’s worth noting that virtual assistant company services can exceed recruitment efforts because, most of the time, they also have teams who handle administrative tasks. These include evaluating the performance of virtual veterinary receptionists and handling their payroll. These, in turn, allow veterinary practices to be more passive about managing the talent they onboard and focus on more critical tasks.
How to onboard a virtual veterinary receptionist
By working with a virtual assistant company, veterinary practices will find onboarding a virtual veterinary receptionist a very straightforward process.
Upon finding a good match, the virtual assistant company will schedule an interview between a representative from the practice and the pre-screened talent. Suppose the interview goes well, and the practice deems the talent a good fit. In that case, the virtual assistant company will send out the contracts, and the virtual veterinary receptionist can start working in no more than a week.
During the first few weeks, practice leaders can let their new virtual talent learn more about their primary responsibilities, the people they’ll be working with, how things work, and how to be an even better fit for the practice. Providing comprehensive training is entirely up to the practice to decide.
From contract signing until the offboarding, the practice will work closely with the virtual assistant company to ensure that their virtual veterinary receptionist performs optimally and that they meet the practice’s needs.
Because virtual work is a relatively new concept for veterinary practices , integrating it can be quite an adjustment. However, overcommunicating and learning to do it effectively can work wonders in bridging the gap between confusion and clarity. Even better, working with an established virtual assistant company like My Mountain Mover will help make the adjustment easier to conquer. Schedule a 10-minute intro call today to learn more!