A receptionist position seems like a simple job at first glance – Answer the phone, greet incoming guests and deliver messages to the boss. Can’t anyone possess great receptionist qualities? How much skill does this role really require?
Quite a bit, it turns out. Receptionists must be skilled at much more than answering phones and handling administrative tasks in order to be effective.
Most companies rely on their receptionist to set the tone for their customer service and customer experience. Receptionists are the face of your company, and that can be dangerous if you’re working with the wrong person.
Looking for a receptionist with the right qualities from the start can save you from unnecessary stress and problems. Receptionist qualities to look for in your front desk personnel are listed below.
Important receptionist qualities to look for
Good receptionists make customers feel welcome and at home, encouraging customer loyalty. Skilled receptionists can handle tasks like data entry, answering and placing phone calls, setting and managing appointments, and helping with administrative duties around the office.
Skilled receptionists set the right tone when customers interact with your business, so hiring a quality person for the job is essential. What receptionist qualities are the most important to consider when looking for the right person for the job?
If a person comes in for a receptionist interview and is wearing jeans, sloppy clothes, or has poor hygiene, you can mentally place them in the “No” pile.
Having a professional receptionist is vital because they are the face or voice that greets and welcomes incoming customers. The professionalism, or lack of professionalism, your receptionist displays will directly reflect on your company.
Your receptionist should be well-groomed, clean and professional–in appearance and in attitude.
Along with following the office dress code and maintaining a certain standard of appearance, your receptionist needs to have impeccable manners and have the ability to keep a positive attitude in the face of challenges.
Look for someone with who comes across friendly, polished, and poised during the interview.
2. Communication skills
Your receptionist is the first person your clients will speak to on the phone or upon entering your office. This is why it’s essential for your receptionist to have great verbal communication skills.
Quality receptionists take the time to listen to customers while giving an appropriate, useful response. It’s best for receptionists to speak in a soft tone to put customers at ease. Good receptionists should always strive to be active listeners. These are vital keys to providing good customer service.
Receptionists should be able to handle basic customer service problems and requests, as well as give out clear information about the company to those that need it.
3. Organization and multi-tasking
Sometimes the phone rings, a customer walks in the door and a staff member needs help–all at the same time.
A receptionist that can handle the stressful nature of multi-tasking is a winner. Being able to assist administrative staff with work overflow, work on special projects, and keep incoming customers happy are all signs that your receptionist is on top of their game.
However, if you notice your receptionist getting easily flustered and stressed when required to multi-task, it might be a sign that future calls may be missed or customers may be ignored. That’s a receptionist red flag.
Part of multi-tasking is being tidy and organized. A receptionist with good organizational abilities should know how to find files quickly, find phone numbers at a moment’s notice, and keep the receptionist area tidy.
Ask a receptionist candidate how they would come up with a filing system to organize contacts or calendars to get a sense of how organized they will be in the role.
4. Comfortable with technology
Receptionists should be tech-savvy, meaning they can easily handle your complicated phone system, appointment software, fax machines, and computers.
They should be able to create spreadsheets, update your social media accounts, create documents using Microsoft Word, and effectively use company software and programs.
Your receptionist should know how to make, take, transfer, and hold calls. Consider doing a one week trial with your new receptionist before hiring full-time to protect your company from hiring someone who isn’t a good fit.
Hiring a receptionist that knows how to complete these tasks efficiently will enable your front desk to run smoothly from the start. Look for these important receptionist qualities when hiring your next front desk employee, and you’ll ensure you don’t end up with someone who isn’t up to the task!
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