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Full or Part Time Receptionist

The successful candidate will fill a vital and responsible role working as a prime point of contact with our customers, who are pet owning clients. The successful candidate will be friendly, conscientious, with excellent customer care skills and able to work flexibly and energetically as an effective member of our dedicated Practice team. An efficient response to the workload and the fast change of pace in our reception working environment, which at times becomes the veterinary equivalent of A&E, is vital. This interesting and varied role requires reliability, punctuality, excellent customer care, initiative, confidence and ability to work under pressure. Empathetic communication with pet owners plus strong computer skills are needed.

The hours normally to be covered are 7.45am until 7.15pm and some Saturdays and average out to approximately 40 hours per week Full Time and minimum 25 hours per week for the Part Time role.                                                                         

Key areas of work:                 

  • Customer Care
  • Practice Promotion
  • Financial/General administration
  • Facilities Management
  • Supplies and stocks

Tasks within the areas of work:

Customer Care:

Answer the telephones promptly always giving your name and using the Barton Lodge

Veterinary Centre message – see below.

Adopt and adhere to the Onswitch 5 steps telephone protocol, training for this will be provided.

Ensure that all visitors to the practice are met in a professional, friendly and courteous manner at all times.

Telephone calls should be answered as a matter of priority (3 rings) to ensure that all client enquiries are dealt with promptly and professionally

Follow the 5 key steps to successful call handling:

  1. Answer and introduce yourself: ‘Good morning/afternoon/evening Barton Lodge Veterinary Centre, (your name) speaking how may I help you?’
  2. Understand the nature of the person’s enquiry, obtain their name and the name of the pet and use both where appropriate
  3. Provide an explanation, don’t just quote a price
  4. Show interest and warmth towards their pet
  5. Convert enquiries to appointments offering a choice of appointment slots

Inform and educate clients and give excellent customer service at all times and deal with clients in a professional, sympathetic and courteous manner.

Respond to client’s needs in an efficient, professional and caring manner at all times.

Arrive clients for their appointments and assist in efficiently managing the flow of clients in the waiting room and at reception.

Deal promptly with client queries by phone or at reception.

Check and update client and contact details upon each visit or during each phone call

Ensure products and medications are given to clients at reception with appropriate instructions which will have been checked by a nurse.

Take and deliver clear messages between vets and nurses and clients regarding the patients.

Seek appropriate advice to give to pet owners using practice protocols and taking instructions from the vet/nurse team.  If in doubt about the health of the pet, offer an appointment rather than advice.

Escalate any significant query, problem or any potential client complaint to a senior staff member or to the office immediately.

Practice Promotion:

Emphasise and reassure pet owners of the high-quality care provided for their pets at Barton Lodge Veterinary Centre

Offer appointments to new clients giving appropriate information and offer to send them a new client welcome pack.

Always make a client’s next appointment whether it is for an illness recheck or for their pet’s next vaccination, prescription review or if they are on our PHC their next wellness 6 month check etc.

Become familiar with the practice website and direct potential clients to view details of our services there. Make customers aware they can register on-line and can now book appointments on line too.

Become confident with the details of our Pet Health Club and actively promote it to new and existing clients who are potential joiners.

Develop an awareness of and promote all the other veterinary services we offer.


Use the Merlin Veterinary Computer Software accurately, efficiently and effectively – booking, cancelling and changing appointments etc.

Check/update vaccine/contact details especially mobile and email, at each visit or during each phone call.

Where appropriate record any other information on the Practice system to support the Vets during consultation process and ensure Data Consent is up to date.

Ensure client invoices are correct and any adjustments have been added

Ensure clients pay for services on day of treatment

Take accurate payments from clients after operations and consultations.

Give clients estimates for proposed routine treatment either at reception or over the phone.

Refer significant client financial and insurance queries to the office.

Deal with payment issues as appropriate/instructed including credit agreements

Take enquiries and bookings re Charity C4 neutering scheme

Ensure insurance claims forms have been correctly filled in and signed by the client before accepting them, then pass them on to the appropriate senior staff member.

Secure follow up appointments to close a treatment plan fully wherever possible, following the vet’s recommendation and always book their next wellness check appointment.

Ensure appointment call backs are completed to check client satisfaction

Call all missed appointments to re-schedule

Educate all clients about practice services

Keep the reception area clean and tidy at all times, especially ready for the next working day, following our recommended practice cleaning protocols.

Adhere to all practice/reception policies/procedures to ensure an excellent level of customer service to our clients at all times.

All messages to be emailed or sent via Merlin or if written, recorded legibly and in full, including date, pet and client's name, address, contact number and problem, your initials, and passed on to the relevant person

Be responsible for own Personal Development by attending internal/external courses and personal study to develop skills.

Help with the marketing targets according to the business plan as all staff are to contribute to the success and profitability of the practice

Under the Health & Safety at Work Act 1974, it is the duty of every employee to take reasonable care of themselves and others at work.  This includes taking care of equipment and reporting immediately any items not working.

Facilities Management:

Maintain a clean, tidy and welcoming reception environment.

Assist in maintaining stock levels of reception materials including leaflets, brochures, newsletters, appointment cards and other client information materials in reception and stationery topped up at each work station.

Assist in maintaining all the printers in reception, including paper levels and ink cartridges

Report any reception equipment malfunctions promptly to the office.

Observe all Health & Safety requirements in the reception environment.

Assist in maintaining the cleanliness, to a medical standard, of the Practice premises.

Assist the Nursing Staff with end of day procedures as required swopping till floats and sorting credit card machines.

Receive the post and dispatch/receive goods at reception and inform the appropriate staff member of arrivals


You will be provided with your uniform and a name badge which must be worn at all times when on duty.

Shoes should be black and of any sensible style which will not compromise your safety and comfort. (Trainers, Stilettos, Platform shoes or open-toed styles should not be worn)

Jewellery may be worn but should be appropriate and discreet.  Visible body piercings and tattoos are discouraged. Nails can be polished but should be at a short workable length and not impede your keyboard skills.  Hairstyle and colour, plus overall appearance, should be appropriate to the professional image that the practice requires the receptionist to convey.

To apply for this role, please download and complete our Application Form and return it to

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