One of the first people any visitor to a business will see is the receptionist. A receptionist is a wonderful type of person who welcomes people into the office and makes sure that they are happy while they wait to be seen or brought through. If you are looking to become a receptionist this year and you think you have what it takes, here is what makes a wonderful receptionist for business.
If you want to avoid your business looking at outsourced receptionist costs, you need to make sure that you make a good impression on both the staff and the visitors who enter your building. You are acting as the face of the business, and therefore you need to make sure you are able to look the part every single day. Remember that you can always have a pair of heels under your desk if you need to get up during the day, but while you are sitting down you can take them off and be comfortable!
It is always important to be welcoming to everyone who comes into the building. Even if you are in the middle of an important task or even if you are on the phone, you need to look up and smile to make the visitor feel welcomed into the space. It is important to always make time for visitors and prioritize them as much as you can. Once you have a second you can greet them with a warm smile and a friendly attitude.
A great receptionist is always happy and always upbeat when conversing with a visitor. Even if you are having a pretty rubbish day yourself, you need to be able to mask this and put on a happy tone for people who are coming through the door. Remember that often, visitors who come into your office are coming here for the first time, so you will be the first impression they have of the company and the type of people who reside inside.
Make them feel at ease
There will always be some visitors who are coming to your office building for an interview for a job with the company. It is incredibly important that you make them feel at ease and make sure that they are able to feel at home right away in your building. People who come for a job interview are often very nervous and disorientated, so be sure to point them in the direction of a comfy chair, offer them a drink and make them feel calm.
Offer a drink
Speaking of drinks… never forget to offer a drink to your visitors! Every reception area will either have a full kitchen behind the desk or you will have access to a kettle and fridge for drinks. As soon as someone walks in and says hello, ask if they want a drink. This will not only make them feel at ease, but it will make them trust you and feel more at home in the office.
As a receptionist, a lot of your role will include answering the telephone and putting people through to the relevant person or take a message. It is crucial that you practice your phone manner, and have a set welcoming line which you say every time you answer the phone. For example, it could be ‘good morning, you’ve reached the office of *, how can I help you?’ This is a life which you can use every time you answer the phone and it will tell the caller two things: who they have called, and how friendly you are. Sometimes a customer might ring the wrong number, so stating who you are in the opening line saves you both time. And of course, a friendly manner is always wanted.
At your desk, you will be responsible for recording every phone call you get during the day, every visitor, and also every hauler which enters if this is applicable to your business. Make sure you have a book for visitors who come into the office where they can sign in, say who they are visiting, and then sign out when they leave. After this, you can look at having a book for phone calls. Record the number who calls, write a description of who the caller is and what they want, record who they want to speak to, and them record whether the call was put through or if you had to take a message. This might seem a bit excessive, but it is always important for staff to know whether someone has tried to contact them.
Don’t get carried away chatting
Talking to your visitors is one of the great joys and the great curses of being a receptionist. Sometimes you will be able to have a nice conversation about the weather or something positive, but there will be other times where you are pulled into a complaint and you have to listen to a customer talking and moaning about the business. The best thing you can do to avoid being pulled into conversation is say hello, offer a drink, take the drink over and then put your head down and continue working.
One job at a time
Yes, it might seem ludicrous to think that you can do one job at a time as a receptionist, but it is important to not get carried away with several tasks at once. Make sure you stick to working on one task at a time, and if people come through the door or call you up, you can deal with that as it comes.
Never keep things to yourself if you think they aren’t important. You need to record everything that goes on at the front of the building and make sure to record it and report it back to your managers. Even if you think that nothing interesting has gone on during the day, you could find that a certain visitor was important or a call was urgent. Be transparent, pass on every piece of information and always stay observant.