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STAF118-0806 : Advanced Front Desk/Receptionist Supervisor

Maryellen Ferring, BS, MS, CHA, CE

August 2 - 31, 2006
Real Time Sessions: Monday evenings August 7, 14. and 21; 8:00pm-9:30pm pm ET (USA)

COURSE DESCRIPTION: The front desk/receptionist supervisor is the person with the greatest customer contact. We'll review customer service and why it's vital to the success of every practice. During the course we'll study personalities - how to recognize four styles and their communication preferences. By understanding personalities, front office people can adapt communication style to connect with customers and improve relationships. The goal is for customers to think of the practice every time they consider care for their pets. We'll also study ways to communicate with customers to be sure we're meeting their needs and communicating value so they'll continue to use the practice and recommend it to friends.

Upon completion of this course, the participant should be able to:

  1. Recognize personality style
  2. Adapt to personality style for more effective customer relationships
  3. Determine what has value for customers and adapt your practice accordingly
TEXTBOOK: Purchase texts at any bookstore, links have been provided to Barnes and Noble (you may purchase from the bookstore of your choice)
Required Texts:
Jump Start Your Business Brain by Doug Hall
Delivering Knock Your Socks Off Service by Kristin Anderson & Ron Zemke.

Recommended Text:
Raving Fans by Ken Blanchard and Sheldon Bowles


Week 1 - Understanding your customers to better serve them
During this session we'll review customer service and why it's important to all veterinary practices. We'll study four basic personality styles and develop strategies for dealing with them.

Week 2 - Adjusting to the client
Communication comes in many different forms. We'll build on personality styles and non-verbal communication and then practice using communication techniques to strengthen your relationships with customers. By connecting with customers they'll begin to think of your practice as the concierge for all their pet needs.

Week 3 - Distinctive differences and uniqueness of your practice
As you continue to move your practice forward, it's important to check with clients to be sure you're meeting their needs. We'll work on questions to ask in person, over the phone and as follow-up to be sure you're doing what your clients want. We'll also strategize to find your unique and distinctive differences that set you apart from the competition. People purchase based on value. What value are you providing your pet parents? Do they understand the value proposition of your practice?

LIBRARY MATERIALS: Library materials will be made available prior to the topic week so participants will have plenty of time to prepare for the real time sessions and discussion.

MESSAGE BOARD DISCUSSIONS: Message board discussions regarding the topic presented will begin on the day the course opens and continue for one week following the last real time session. These discussions will be held in the VSPN CE course area.

CE HOURS: 4.5 (RACE and VHMA approval applied for)

$115 ($105.00 early bird special if registered before July 5, 2006).
A course workbook will be mailed to participants between July 19 and August 1.
Cost includes workbook: regular registration $115; Early bird cost $105; VT student $70.

Students currently enrolled in and taking at least 2 classes or 5 units at an AVMA accredited or CAAHT approved Veterinary Technician Program may be eligible to receive a reduced rate for this course (upon verification of student status) *VT students: You must include the following information in the comments section of the CE enrollment form in order to be eligible for this discount: your program directors name and contact information (email/phone) and school name.

** NOTE: Registration will be closed when the maximum number of participants is reached or at 5pm ET on July 19 whichever comes first. This is to ensure we have time to send you the workbook course materials. Please provide the complete MAILING address in your enrollment form, or call in/email to verify what we have on file.

Minimum Requirements for Online CE


  1. Each person must individually be a registered member of VSPN ( Membership in VSPN is free.
  2. Each person must be able to receive emails from and addresses. This is our major form of communication with participants. It is highly recommended that course participants use their own, personal emails rather than clinic/hospital email addresses.
  3. VIN Member veterinarians SHOULD NOT register for their staff. Please have the staff member register through VSPN. Please email if you have questions.
**For More Information on VSPN's upcoming CE Courses, check out

Note: "This program was submitted (but not yet approved) to the AAVSB's RACE program for continuing education. Please contact the AAVSB's RACE program at should you have any comments/suggestions regarding this program's validity or relevance to the veterinary profession." (Attendees are encouraged to check with their licensing jurisdiction(s) for information regarding recognition by their board.) This course has also been submitted for approval for continual education units toward CVPM requirements by the VHMA.

COURSE WITHDRAWAL AND REFUND POLICY: Withdrawal prior to the listed start date of a course entitles the registrant to a complete refund or a credit toward a future VSPN or VIN CE course, whichever is preferred. Withdrawal within 1 week after the listed start date (i.e. including no more than one real-time session) entitles the registrant to a credit toward any future VIN CE course. (Does not apply to courses with only one real-time session.) After the first real-time session, a registrant may withdraw due to special circumstances and receive prorated credit towards a future VIN course. These requests will be handled on an individual basis. The amount of the prorated credit will be determined based on 65% of the time remaining in the course at the time of withdrawal. It is not possible to withdraw retroactively.
Note: To ensure rapid handling of your request for withdrawal, we recommend that you call the VIN office at 1-800-700-INFO (4636).
Nanette R. Walker Smith, RVT, CVT
VSPN Content Director or


800.700.4636  |  |  530.756.4881  |  Fax: 530.756.6035
777 West Covell Blvd, Davis, CA 95616

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