It's just answering phones, right?

Wrong. Here are the top 5 qualifications that every Veterinary CSR should have


With next week being Veterinary Receptionist Week, we wanted to shine a light on how difficult a CSR's role in the veterinary hospital can truly be by highlighting all of the most appreciated qualities.


  1. Multi-tasker.

    When it comes to the most ideal employee, multitasking is always first on my list. A CSR's job is above and beyond just answering phones, and has been evolving for years now. Sure, a CSR should know how to handle phone calls, be it a prescription refill request or an emergency arriving in 5 minutes. An ideal CSR is able to handle to check clients in and out, pull patient charts and prescription food orders, leave messages for doctors, all while the phone is ringing and dogs are barking and you get the idea. Even though a CSR has two hands, they actually get the work done of a person with ten. 

  2. Friendly face.

    A smile goes further than you may think. Clients come into the building stressed with their sick animal, or overwhelmed because their to-do list is a mile long and this is one more thing to do before soccer practice. Walking into a room with a smiling face sends the message that they are welcome without any words exchanged, allowing the client to adjust to this new setting they are entering. A moments to say to themselves, "I'm here and my pet will get help." It may seem like a no brainer, but a CSR with a friendly face can put a client at ease being the first thing they see walking into the clinic. This sets the tone for the whole visit. 
  3. Appointment booker.

    Book. Those. Appointments.

    CSRs are responsible for being the voice of why a client needs to come into the clinic and have their pet examined. This will not only help the pet, being the first priority, but it will help the clinic keep the lights on. Someone who tiptoes around scheduling or says, "you can just keep an eye on it for a few days" is not providing the best medical advice. As you can see, CSRs play an important role with getting pets the help they need. So for me, I need an appointment booking superstar on my team. 

  4. Kindness and Compassion. 

    Kindness and compassion extends beyond a friendly face. Kindness is greeting the client by their name and patient by theirs too. Kindness is being asking how Mr. Fisher's daughters dance recital was that he told you about on his last visit. On that same note, compassion is checking in a euthanasia appointment and putting the client in the room right away, providing tissues and stating how sorry you are. Kindness and compassion are NEEDED in the veterinary world. Competition is fierce for clinics. Animal hospitals are everywhere. Clients can take their pets anywhere. But clients will remember when a CSR checks Louie in by name, and when that CSR expressed compassion about Rawlie not feeling well. Clients can see the difference when CSRs love what they do and when they working a job. Your bottom line can see this difference too.

  5. Team player.

    "How can I help?"

    Even as an extremely busy CSR needing those 8 extra hands they don't have, this question should be on the tip of their tongue throughout every shift. What I mean by this is everyone needs to play their part. And everyone's part is helping out their team. No one should be doing all the work in any role of a veterinary clinic and no one should be doing nothing during their shift. If everyone takes on individual tasks or responsibilities, there will always be room to be a team player and help anywhere you can. Daniella needs a hand filing records and you're in-between callbacks. Help her out. Joelle has a stack of message requests to put in doctors mailboxes and you need to grab some heartworm preventative from the pharmacy, ask to bring some of those messages back. Help her out. The same will be done in return for you. 

By no means are these the only qualifications a CSR should have. But they are some of the most important.  


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April 15, 2021

Kristi Fisher, CVT

Written by Kristi Fisher, CVT