Have You Thanked a CSR This Week?

(Christina Freeman checks clients in by remote video at Adobe Animal Hospital. Photo courtesy of Adobe Animal Hospital.)

Everyone in a veterinary hospital works hard, but there’s a special kind of grit needed to work in client services – where that grit most often needs to be delivered with a smile. Our client service representative (CSR), client care services (CCS), and receptionist team members deserve thanks and kudos all year for being on the front lines with emotional clients, running between phones and busy (and, I admit, sometimes crabby) doctors and technicians, and generally serving as a human shield for those of us who sometimes go all day without seeing the waiting room.

But they also deserve a week that’s all theirs, so we can be sure to sing their praises. And it’s been such a fun week on veterinary social media – I LOVE seeing hospitals celebrating their amazing client care teams.

Summer Burke-Irmiter, president of the open-concept, AAHA-accredited Adobe Veterinary Hospitals in Los Altos and South Bay, California, has remote CSRs and VCRs (video client reps) as well as CSRs who work in-house. In fact, one of their locations is now entirely run by remote video CSRs! Burke-Irmiter wanted to make sure her remote CSRs didn’t feel forgotten, and said, “A huge thank you to my entire CSR team for the amazing customer service you give our clients, whether it’s in person, over video, over chat on the website, or over the phone. We are so lucky to have such kind, caring, and creative people on our team.”

At Shiloh Veterinary Hospital, the AAHA-accredited practice in York, Pennsylvania, where I worked as an associate until the end of 2021, the CCS team splits their time between a phone room and the front desk at two hospital locations. They protected me from a lot of calls I didn’t need to make late at night when everyone had gone home, made sure medical records found their way to specialists on time (I’m so sorry for all the times I handed them over at 8:00 pm), led the charge through a practice management software (PIMS) transition, and kept smiling faces through the worst of COVID, when the phone room felt like an incubator and clients were at their most anxious and emotional. I’ll be forever grateful for how they helped hold us together during two exceptionally hard years.

I was been a CSR myself (back in the day . . . we won’t say when) and have the utmost admiration for these dedicated humans who so often walk around underappreciated for the incredibly hard work they do.

So, cheers to you, client care teams – and not just because we really hate the phone. You’re the unsung heroes of veterinary medicine, and we literally wouldn’t be able to do our jobs without you.

Katie Berlin is AAHA's Veterinary Content Strategist and host of Central Line, the AAHA podcast. Look for new episodes every Tuesday.