HARDISON’S TIPS – JUNE 9, 2021 – TIPS ON BEING A GREAT RECEPTIONIST
Many businesses don’t take the time to properly train their receptionist because they don’t want to spend the time or money. Often times, companies also don’t realize the significance of a well-trained receptionist. As a business’s first point of contact, a receptionist has the potential to close a deal by providing a great first impression or to lose the deal making a commonly-made mistake. Equip your company with the following receptionist tips and tricks to make sure all of your callers have a great first impression.
- Smile Often
Although it may seem silly to smile while on the phone, it works! Smiling is the easiest way to ensure your receptionist sounds friendly and inviting, maintaining the perfect tone. In addition, keeping a smile on their face will help your receptionist feel calm and happy throughout the day.
- Avoid Eating & Chewing Gum
Your receptionist can’t create a great first impression when their mouth is full of food. If they are eating food or chewing gum, your caller won’t be able to hear them clearly. A good practice is to ask that food and gum stay away from the receptionist area. If the food isn’t there as a temptation, callers won’t be turned away by the sound of chewing.
- Refrain From Using Mobile Devices
Receptionists already have plenty of distractions throughout the day, a mobile device doesn’t need to be another. Similar to keeping food away from the receptionist area, mobile devices should be put away until a break is taken. Personal devices can cause a receptionist to be distracted from the call and potentially cause them to miss important information.
- Keep a Message Pad Handy
In order for a receptionist to function at the highest level, it’s important to have the proper message pad handy. This message pad can indicate what information they should be collecting when they take messages. Having this information right in front of your receptionist improves call efficiency and accuracy.
- Take a Breath
Receptionists have a lot going on — emails piling up, documents to be filed, reports to write, messages to be transmitted, and appointments to be scheduled. When the phone rings, it’s best to put all other office duties aside and focus on the incoming call. Encourage your receptionists to take a breath, put on a smile, and answer the call calmly. This will immediately set the tone for a great experience for the caller.
- Use the Caller’s Name
If your receptionist has the opportunity to use the caller’s name in a conversation, recommend that they do. Addressing the caller properly creates a sense of engagement and friendliness. This, in turn, will create a great first impression.
- Be Polite & Use Pleasantries
Being polite and using pleasantries aid in making a great first impression. Encourage your receptionist to always say, “thank you,” “please may I,” and “have a nice day.” When these polite terms are used, the customer notices and their experience is enhanced.
- Avoid Saying “I don’t know”
There is a good chance that your receptionist will be asked questions that they don’t know how to answer, so it is important to train them the proper way to respond. It’s a good idea to make it clear that using the phrase “I don’t know” is not an option. Phrases beginning with “Let me” and “I’d be happy to” are great ways to avoid this phrase. Encourage your receptionists to use phrases such as “Let me find out for you” or “I’d be happy to look into that.”
- Confirm with the Caller
To ensure that your receptionist has taken down information correctly, teach them to always read back telephone numbers and addresses. Another good tip is to spell out names or words that could be tricky to spell. This will give the caller the confidence that their message has been taken correctly.
- Paraphrase the Message
Reading the message back to the caller word-for-word is another good practice to ensure accuracy. Callers like to know that their message will be relayed correctly so this will make sure of that.