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STAF118-1108 : Advanced Front Desk Supervisor

Maryellen Ferring, BS, MS, CHA, CE

November 24-December 24, 2008
Real Time Sessions: Tuesday evenings, December 2, 9 and 16, 2008; 9pm-10:30pm ET (USA)


The front desk/receptionist supervisor is the person with the greatest client contact. We'll review client service and why it's vital to the success of every practice. The goal is for clients to think of the practice every time they consider care for their pets. During the course we'll study personalities; how to recognize four styles and their communication preferences. By understanding personalities, front office staff can adapt to connect with clients and improve client relationships. We'll also study ways to communicate with clients to be sure we're meeting their needs and communicating value so they'll continue to use the practice and recommend it to friends. Discussion of communication goals and values to help your practice excel as well as assist you in training and supervising your staff will round out the course.

Maryellen Ferring is a certified hotel educator and hospitality administrator. She has worked in the client service industry for over 20 years. She expanded her client service workshops to veterinary practices a few years ago filling a niche where few client service courses exist. NOTE: This course naturally follows the Essential Client Service Skills course and Challenges Facing the Front Desk/Receptionist course, however they are NOT prerequisites.

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

TEXTBOOK: There are two (2) required textbooks for this course: Purchase texts at any bookstore
Required Texts: COURSE OUTLINE:

Week 1: Understanding your clients to better serve them
Content: During this session we'll review client service and why it's important to all veterinary practices. We'll discuss why clients leave and what you can do to keep them. We'll study four basic personality styles and develop strategies for dealing with these styles.

Week 2: Adjusting to the client
Content: 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 clients. By connecting with clients they'll begin to think of your practice as the concierge for all their pet needs. This strengthening relationship will improve pet care and business opportunities for your practice.

Week 3: How service creates uniqueness and loyalty for your practice
Content: 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 service 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)

$88 ($79.00 early bird special if registered before November 10, 2008).
*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 50% discount off the regular rate for this course (upon verification of student status). 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 director's name and contact information (email/phone) and school name.

** NOTE: Registration will be closed at 5pm ET on May 7, 2007 or as soon as the maximum number of participants is reached.

For More Information on how our online CE courses work please read the following:

  1. Each enrollee must individually be a registered member of VSPN or VIN ( Membership in VSPN is free; VIN membership includes VSPN membership.
  2. To enroll in any VSPN CE course click on the ENROLL NOW link below the course title on the right side of the page at
  3. Each enrollee 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/school email addresses.
  4. 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 course has been submitted for approval for 4.5 continuing education credits in jurisdictions which recognize AAVSB RACE approval; however participants should be aware that some boards have limitations on the number of hours accepted in certain categories and/or restrictions on certain methods of delivery of continuing education. Call VSPN CE at 1-800-700-4636 for further information." (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

Ginger Sanders (; ext 183
Charlotte Waack (; ext 193
Chris Upchurch (; ext 197
VSPN CE Services
1-800-846-0028 or 1-530-756-4881


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

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