MS127 – Becoming More Confident about Money: Veterinary Receptionist Essentials Mini Series
12 months access to recordings and course materials is included. Please note that these are webinar recordings and not live events. Full details on how to access the Mini Series will be emailed to you.
- Join Alison Lambert BVSc MMRS MRCVS for three 2-hour online sessions and be confident in the crucial role that you play towards the practice finances
- Comprehensive notes to downloaded
- Self-assessment quizzes to ‘release’ your 8 hours CPD certification (don’t worry, you can take them more than once if you don’t quite hit the mark first time)
- A whole year’s access to recorded sessions for reviewing key points (and in case you miss a live session!)
- Superb value for money – learn without travelling
- Watch the recordings on your iPad!
Reviewing the Revenue Journey
As a receptionist and member of the customer care team, you may well be wondering why you need to know about business revenue. Of course, your role is crucial to the physical handling of money flowing through the practice – you advise owners on the likely costs, promote the Pet Health Plan, settle accounts and chase non-paying clients. But you have a much more fundamental role to play – without your skills in converting callers to new clients, the practice is simply not profitable. If you give away extensive free advice over the phone there is a corresponding loss of consultation fees. It’s vital that the revenue journey is clear and simple if it is to be effective.
In the first session, we’ll look at the effect of lost income – money that either hasn’t yet come into the practice, or never will, even though time and products have been given to patients. This session will examine the massive impact on the practice finances of bad debt write off, non-invoiced work (giving away the odd freebie or reduced bill soon mounts up!), insurance shortfalls and forgotten charges. We’ll also look at the average cost of bought-in goods, and where you can help keep costs down by using and ordering stock and resources more effectively, and ensuring that best before dates on food, treats and medications are adhered to.
What you’ll learn:
- How to map the revenue journey at your practice
- The key stages where your role has a big impact
- How to develop an action plan to help you manage the flow of money more effectively
Talking about Money and Fees
Many receptionists view this as the worst bit of the job – it’s difficult enough handing over a large bill, never mind when you suspect that the client is not well off, or when it comes after euthanasia or unsuccessful treatment. But owners come to you because they value the levels of care and service provided, and they know that it comes at a price. Problems only really occur when the owner is not expecting the scale of an invoice – that’s why it’s crucial to explain clearly, in advance, what the likely costs are, and to keep owners informed if and when these increase. Pet Health Plans and insurance policies are very useful tools in the money discussion and demonstrate that you do understand and want to help.
Running a veterinary practice is expensive, providing excellent care even more so. Laboratory fees, both internal and external, are often contentious. These always seem very high to clients, thus there is a need to explain which elements they are made up of. It’s important not to feel embarrassed asking for payment for these external fees – the scale may be out of your control, but they are essential in order to provide the pet with the best care. Don’t be tempted to give products away free, or to reduce or remove charges for consult fees. Giving time away free only undermines what professional veterinary advice is ‘worth’ and thus causes more problems in the future when a client’s expectations of fees is lowered unrealistically.
What you’ll learn:
- The importance of providing clear, detailed written estimates in advance
- How to discuss the benefits of a Pet Health Plan convincingly
- How to explain to owners the sheer scale of costs that go into even the simplest bill
Increasing your Confidence in Money Matters
The key to discussing money matters confidently is understanding that the bill is fair and represents good value for money considering the quality of care provided. Expertise costs money in any field, and veterinary care is no exception. There is no NHS for pets, but because owners can access free healthcare for themselves it can be difficult for them to appreciate exactly what goes into the bill. Don’t ever be embarrassed to hand over an invoice, and don’t apologise for it – if everyone has done his or her job correctly the owner won’t be surprised. And don’t make assumptions about people’s circumstances or reactions – you’ll almost always be wrong!
In this session we’ll look at how developing a protocol for handling the issue for money helps to regain control over how you feel about this crucial part of your role. Ensure that prices for common procedures and services are displayed clearly at reception and also on your website. Keep a crib sheet of answers to common price queries to hand at all times. Promote insurance and Pet Health Plans routinely with owners as effective ways to manage the costs of their pet’s care. Provide detailed written estimates as standard, and inform the owner if these change. Be clear about whether you offer monthly accounts or finance schemes – horse owners especially may expect these, but they are not part of good financial practice.
What you’ll learn:
- How to feel confident handling queries about billing
- The importance of clarity and openness with clients
- How to address any difficult situations effectively and without stress
The price includes all 3 sessions, notes and quiz – 8 hours of CPD
*No traffic jams, accommodation hassles, pet or childcare, rota clashes, locum fees ……….. just great CPD and a valuable ongoing resource.
*overseas customers will not be charged VAT