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By Melissa from Suger Coat It

I’m a great receptionist. I know that sounds conceited to say, but I am. I work fast, am good at problem-solving and people really like me. Some people a little too much. Maybe you’re a great receptionist too. Maybe you’re looking for a few tips and tricks to improve. Well let’s work together and make this a comprehensive guide, shall we?

My 7 tips for being a great receptionist:

  1. Always welcome people with a warm welcome and a smile. Even if you have to continue what you were doing for a short while, this makes them feel acknowledged. It’s like the retail equivalent of “hello, can I help you with anything?”. If someone feels acknowledged when they arrive you are on the right foot immediately
  2. Be upbeat. There’s nothing worse than someone on the phone {yes they can tell} or in person who is all “woe is me; my life sucks”. Sorry but if that’s you most days then it’s probably time to look for a career away from people. If you lack energy so does the transaction and it leaves people feeling blah. That’s a reception fail right there
  3. Continuing on, for goodness sake SMILE. Even if something is not going well, keep calm and relax your face. As someone with an overly expressive face sometimes it’s essential for me to calm my face down
  4. Keep a daybook by your side and write notes on EVERYTHING. Even the people who walk in, if they say their name, scribble it down. If you miss it, ask again. This is incase you have to go away and come back to it later. There’s nothing worse than going to introduce a client call or visit and not remembering their name or why they’re there. Don’t rely on your memory; you’re too busy for that
  5. Don’t get too involved with people. An absolute time suck for receptionists is getting caught up chatting with people while they are waiting or being dragged into their complaint, story or whatever is going on. Your job is to greet them {on phone or in person} and manage the effective handover of their enquiry. You are not in change of handling it for them. Mostly. If you have been warm, offered them a beverage and a seat the majority of people are more than happy to be left alone. Especially if you are returning back to the task you were handling prior to their arrival. Let them know you’ll be available if they need you and get back to work. Don’t forget that staff can be a time suck as well!
  6. One job at a time. You might be laughing at me at this one but it really is important to handle the one task at a time. If I’m on reception and entering data I will only open one data file at a time. I will not enter anything while I am answering the phone or greeting a client. Similarly, I will finish what I am doing before fully greeting someone who has just called. Why? Because no matter how good you think you are that’s when mistakes happen. That’s when you miss someone’s name and have to ask again. That’s when you enter 43 instead of 34. One thing at a time. No more juggling than is necessary
  7. Be transparent. Make sure your daybook, message book and diary are easy to read and available to your managers and other team mates. I work part-time so this is especially important to me. People need to be able to work out what you have done should you be unavailable or away. Or say a colleague loses their client’s number from a message last week…

What are your tips? Are you receptionist? Or have you met a great one lately? Tell us all about it!

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