Six Skills Receptionists Should Have to Provide Excellent Service
Some people say first impressions are the ones that really matter, and they might be right. Imagine you're waiting for a potential new client for a very important meeting which could change the entire game for your business. Your client arrives fifteen minutes earlier, but instead of taking him to your conference room, providing a visitor badge, or offering some refreshments, your front desk clerk makes him wait while attending a personal call. He's rude, unapologetic, and never acknowledges your visitors' time and importance. How do you come back from that awful first impression?
Here we give you six crucial skills that any receptionist, from the biggest hotel chain to the smallest medical practice, needs to keep in mind to provide an excellent and unforgettable service.
We can't think of something that beats the sensation you have when you feel that your voice matters, that your ideas are important. Putting that on perspective, receptionists are the front-line of your organization, and you don't want them to miss your 05:00 PM appointment's name simply because they didn't put enough effort on setting a proper reminder. But it's not all about accuracy, active listening is also about acknowledging your interlocutor's needs, and addressing these with efficient actions. Being listened to is priceless.
If your CEO's guest says her phone ran out of battery, offering your landline so she can make a phone call will take you so little effort and will generate a fantastic first impression. If you are expecting several visitors, prepare yourself and print out all the badges you need, maybe a couple of extra ones. You might ask yourself how these tiny, apparently inconsequential acts would put some major value into your brand but put them all together and the impact, whether positive or negative, will be huge. It means you're prepared, it means you're ready, and it means you can easily adapt to changes no matter how they come or where they come from. Be proactive and you will be successful. No doubt about that.
Knowing your tools is knowing your ground. You have a full display of resources and you should squeeze every juicy drop of effectiveness out of them. It doesn´t matter if it's a phone or a CRM, use whatever you have at hand to satisfy both customers and upper management.
You can save yourself from a terrible review by solely being cordial. You can even prevent losing a client with something as puerile as saying "please" and "thank you". Remember this when dealing with a bad-mannered visitor or manager: you are the one deciding how other people's behaviour will affect you and how you'll react to it. Being polite is being sharp.
Sometimes this job will require more from you than what you ever imagined. How could it not be like that? You'll have to deal with clients, providers, management, sometimes all at the same time, and each one has different agendas and concerns.
Be a People's Person
At the end of the day, no one is going to remember the rude lady from the front desk, but they will put out a bad word for your brand for sure. You have to be polite, know your resources, take on several tasks at the same time, and find solutions for problems that might have not even showed up yet. This is your role, and you will find it a lot easier if you don't lose sight of this golden ticket: you're dealing with real people who have real needs and that will sometimes overwhelm you, but you can rise above it as long as you always remember receptionists are the pathfinders of the business world.