A receptionist is the face of any business, the first impression many office visitors have. A good receptionist makes visitors feel welcome and comfortable. Whatever their reason for showing up, the receptionist helps address it.
If you are looking to hire a receptionist then helping them master this basic receptionist etiquette can make all the difference in your workplace and would help your front desk team to deal with all kinds of visitors alike.
The Art of Keeping Calm
A receptionist is often pulled into different directions, that too all at once, hence it becomes essential that they maintain their cool. A sluggish receptionist leaves the customer with the impression that the company doesn’t have matters in their control. Also, it might lead to a bad first experience and the visitor might never return.
The resistance to avoid breaking down when all hell breaks lose gives out a great deal about an individual’s professional position.
Say your office phone starts ringing off the hook and your receptionist sends out an unpleasant tone under pressure. Who would call your business again? You might just lose a huge business deal, just because your receptionist couldn’t stay handle stress.
So how do you hire such a receptionist without taking a stress interview?
Firstly, screen for those who are truly interested in a receptionist role. If you are looking to hire a receptionist, with the right set of receptionist qualities, who won’t give up under pressure, then search for their real inspiration. Do they really want to work as a receptionist or they are doing it to get a foot in your company?
You can do so by asking each candidate what they know about your company and listen carefully to how they respond.
If they are really in for the job, they would have done their homework. They would have at least a basic, if not a solid understanding of your business. This would also help them present a confident and capable first impression to your office visitors.
Secondly, screen for prospective receptionists who are personable and have a polished, welcoming demeanor. Go for their appearance and attitude this time. If they have been in this position for long, it will show.
Most importantly think about your business and how this position of a receptionist can best personify the image you wish to project.
Information Sensitivity and Situational Sense
The receptionist, just like secretaries may sometimes be subjected to confidential information regarding the company or employees. It is very important that the receptionist maintains the discretion, as it may affect company functioning and the company may lose their trust in the receptionist. Even though receptionist lack workplace privacy, however, they need to make sure information doesn’t go out of their office.
There will always be a few rare situations where the receptionist has to take some action. There may be an angry customer, a nervous one or a problematic one. A good receptionist listens to what the customer has to say, expresses sympathy and fixes the problem. If the situation demands someone higher up the chain, the receptionist must pass the customer to someone who can resolve the issue.
Phone etiquettes are critical to being a great receptionist. These etiquettes require a receptionist to be calm on the phone and talk in a very positive, cheerful and clear voice. A major part of phone etiquettes is the ability to listen to the customers or anybody on the other end of the phone. A receptionist should always keep a note ready to take notes when somebody calls, as in a few times the receptionist has to note down important numbers, addresses or details.
Whenever on a call and the guest arrives, the receptionist should
- If on a call, answer the calls first meanwhile informing the visitors to wait.
- Address new visitors by hand gestures, smile and ask them to wait
- Update the already waiting customers
Receptionist phone etiquettes
- Smile and speak
- Listen to the caller
- Never interrupt a caller
- Be polite and attentive
- Take notes (if required)
- Take permission, before putting on hold
- Thank the caller
Every office that presents itself to the public in any way requires a face to meet the public. Although excellent communication over the phone and by email is important to the reception staff, it is the face-to-face communication that distinguishes a receptionist from a Customer Service Representative. Oftentimes, when a person (vendor, applicant, community member) enters your workplace, the first thing they will see is the receptionist- and first impressions are always important.
If you as an employer think that your receptionist is struggling with communication, the least you can do is develop a familiar script for communicating with others. For example, when you greet visitors, use similar language to welcome them, ask them what they need, and invite them to sit down.
The apparel of a receptionist carries its own appeal. It is really important to wear the right outfit every day.
Here are some Apparel Receptionist Etiquette Tips
- Keep the uniform ironed and wrinkle-free
- Make changes as per the place of work
- Balance safety and comfort
Like, in a law firm the receptionist should also wear a coat & tie if everyone among the staffs wears it. The dress code of a receptionist should match the same level of professionalism as the other staffs in the office.
A great reception area does not essentially require a live receptionist, but a digital receptionist can smoothen the functioning and add efficiency. Following these receptionist etiquette tips will pave the path to be a great receptionist. All that is required to give a great visitor experience is to take a few moments to experience the lobby from the eyes of a visitor.