The receptionist is the first and last person you see when going to work, on an interview or a sales call. Receptionists are friendly, happy people and always attentive to the needs of employees and visitors. They answer and dispatch phone calls, coordinate deliveries and even get guests beverages while they await an upcoming appointment. They are some of the nicest people you’ll meet, and for good reason. They truly are the face of any business, leaving a lasting impression on all who enter.
The main duties of a receptionist may be relatively standard depending on the organizational structure and industry. Here are four ways receptionists provide value to an organization.
1. Be sure you hire a receptionist who is a good judge of character. For most businesses today, culture may be the largest hurdle they have to jump to find the right vendor partner or employee. After you conclude the next meeting with a non-employee, talk to your receptionist about the way the person acted while waiting. Was he or she friendly, or more reserved? On the phone, or reading notes? These little tendencies can provide insight into the true personality of your guest. Ask your receptionist to take notes on each visitor. You may be surprised what you find out about your guests!
2. Make free-flowing conversation a part of their daily tasks. Encourage your receptionist to have conversations with non-employees as well as employees on a daily basis. The day for a receptionist can be monotonous at times. Striking up conversation about life, the weekend or children can bring quite a bit of joy to an otherwise dull work day. These conversations will build bonds that go beyond the day-to-day work!
3. Educate your receptionist to be a brand ambassador and overall cheerleader. Keep your receptionist abreast to new developments, business processes, organizational structures, marketing/branding and business strategies. They may have more influence on a visitor than you could ever imagine. Give your receptionist the tools needed to represent your brand in a positive light. If the receptionist is uninformed, or even worse, misinformed, the impression of your business to a potential employee could be lost in translation.
4. Develop a clear-cut career path worth sticking around for. Due in large part to the amount of exposure receptionists have, they become comfortable working with individual contributors, executive staff and board members, as well as trusted vendor partners. Show your receptionist hard work doesn’t go unnoticed. He or she has worked diligently to represent the brand in the best light possible. Don’t forget to groom your receptionist towards the next step in his or her career.