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Being on the Frontline: Communication Challenges Faced by Client Service Representatives and How We Can Support Them Better

Duration: 1:10 h
from 1 € 29,-
(incl. tax)

The practice of veterinary medicine is heavily based in three relationships: 1) the veterinarian-client-patient relationship, 2) the relationship between clients and non-veterinarian members of the team, and 3) the relationship between team members. Extensive research has characterized the needs and expectations that veterinarians and clients have for each other. However, the profession has yet to explore in depth the second and third relationships: specifically, what challenges are faced by the non-veterinarians, and what tools these individuals need to be cohesive members of the team. This presentation will share the results of a survey that aimed to elicit the perspective of client service representatives with regards to common communication challenges they encounter. By inviting dialogue, sources of conflict between team members could be identified as the first step towards resolution. Common themes surrounding poor communication within the team included team member unavailability, departments as barriers, incorrect assumptions, and inadequate training. Common themes surrounding poor communication with clients included their devaluing of non-veterinarian team members and their tendency to become emotional. Strategies that were proposed by client service representatives focused on increasing practice transparency to benefit team members and clients alike; consistency in communication with less mixed messages between team members; and innovative approaches to customer service to meet the evolving needs of the consumer via increased use of technology.

Learning Objectives:

• Recognize that one of the greatest struggles in the veterinary profession is to create, manage, and maintain an effective team.

• Identify staff-specific challenges that client service representatives face in veterinary practice.

• Identify client-specific challenges that client service representatives face in veterinary practice.

• Identify tools that client service representatives have requested by name to assist their navigation of communication challenges.

• Consider additional ways in which your veterinary practice can better support client service representatives.

Recording from 28 November 2023

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