HARDISON’S TIPS – JUNE 8, 2021 – RECEPTIONIST TRAINING (PART 2)
Your receptionist is the voice of your organization. For many customers, the first impression they have of your company is directly tied to the person who answers the phone when they call your general number. So, training your receptionist to make callers feel informed and appreciated is essential.
Whatever your vertical market is, the receptionist is the face and voice of your organization and your reviews and customer experience is heavily weighted by their performance.
There isn’t a script for every single question that your receptionist is likely to receive. But you can teach them basic tact and professionalism.
Tact is about being open and honest without being rude or hurting a caller’s feelings. Here are a few pointers to include in training for your front desk staff:
- Speak clearly. Often, this means slowing down so the person on the other end of the line gets the message. It means using a cheerful, professional voice. And it means not always saying what immediately comes to mind. Depending on the nature of the call, your receptionist may need to take a pause and respond more sensitively.
- Use an acceptable volume level. Unless a caller specifically asks your receptionist to speak up, there’s no need to speak overly loudly. They should just use a calm, normal tone of voice.
- Phone etiquette is based on the ability to listen actively and respond appropriately. This means not interrupting callers, and repeating important information back to them when taking messages. This helps verify that your front desk staffer has heard and transcribed facts accurately.
- Be patient. Even if a caller is angry or upset, your receptionist should listen to what they have to say and then refer them to the right resource. Never snap back, even if it means biting your tongue to avoid such a response. Let them speak, express their feelings and thoughts, and then respond.
- “I don’t know” is a no-no. When speaking to a caller, phone etiquette is to not simply tell them that you don’t have an answer to their question. Instead, reply with confidence. Your receptionist might say something like, “That’s an excellent question. Let me put you on hold for a moment and get back to you with an answer,” or if it will take more time, “Would you mind giving me your number and someone will call back shortly with a response?”