Isn’t it a dream job – to meet and help new people while being at the front and center of everything that is happening at your organization? You’re the first point of contact, you help building up the image of this place, and you are literally the first face visitors, partners and colleagues see once they are here. Sure, it seems quite a burdensome responsibility, but here are 12 excellent tips on how to be a good receptionist.
Top 12 Tips on How to Be a Good Receptionist
Be ready to multitask
There is no comprehensive description of a receptionist’s duties, and there can never be one, for the list may well turn out to be endlessly long. From simple greetings to paperwork, from phone calls to first aid, there will be a number of tasks you will be accomplishing, perhaps at the same time. Add to this a bunch of different people expecting you to help them at once, and multitasking won’t look so stress-free anymore.
Learn to be at the junction
In a way, it is you who directs everyone in the right way, so consider your job as a junction with multiple roads. It’s your task to learn where these roads lead and give the right directions. If you are eager to find out how to become a good receptionist, get to know your organization inside out, along with as many people as possible.
Become a communication angel
Surely, you are not in a fairy tale, but possessing some magic superpowers is a must for a great receptionist, especially when it comes to dealing with phone calls and face-to-face communication. Everything matters – your voice tone, pitch, choice of words, level of politeness and ability to relate to an inquirer’s problem or question.
Master your computer skills
Your communication with technologies should be as fluent as the one with people. Depending on the nature of your organization’s business, you are likely to take up a number of tech-related tasks, such as Excel table formatting, entering and manipulating databases, working with print-outs and presentations, as well as image editing. To do it quick and to do it right, make sure you are well educated in this sophisticated area.
Work out your can-do attitude
You can never say no, and you should always soften the acutest moments of someone’s dissatisfaction, be it a customer, a general visitor, or a business partner. Your ability to provide assistance even if you are not yet sure how to do that will give you extra points in mastering the art of reception, while building up an ultimately positive image of your workplace as a competent organization.
Be a team player
Once you know the majority of people at the company, make sure you know how to collaborate with each and every one of them. You will be likely to need their help – as much as they will need yours, so becoming a team player is truly helpful for resolving all sorts of urgent issues, as well as working towards common goals.
Fight your stage fright
When learning how to be a good receptionist, it’s important to remember that it’s very much like being on stage. With this comes stage fright, as most of the time you will be in the limelight with no chance to rehearse your lines once again or ask for another take. Working on your confidence and getting rid of unnecessary shyness should be on your priority list.
Learn to accept criticisms
Be prepared to hear frequently that you as a receptionist don’t do anything at all apart from sipping your coffee and chatting with everyone. It is not in your power to confront such opinions, but what you can do is learn to accept criticisms, even if they are unjustified, because this is also a commonly accepted part of your job. Don’t fret if what you hear is unfair or offensive. The best remedy is to keep doing your job, and do it perfectly.
Work on your organizing skills
As a receptionist, you are likely to receive heavy loads of mail, documents and requests. As a good receptionist, you will know how to organize everything without losing important data and to make sure that it all reaches the right people, timely and relevantly. For this, it’s recommended to work out your own filing system and stick to it effectively whatever the volume of information you receive.
Be a good listener
Knowing how to be a good receptionist means the ability to listen, and not only listen but know how to respond and stay helpful. As you are most likely to be addressed with all sorts of questions, concerns, requests – including the most silly of them – learning to be attentive without missing crucial details is key. This includes handling your colleagues’ uneasy stories as well – you’re in the focus of your organization’s life, and with this comes the social aspect as well.
As the first point of contact, you have to deal with emergency situations of all kinds – from giving the right directions to evacuating people in case of fire or giving the first aid when necessary. To prepare for this, reading manuals is not enough. It takes learning to stay cool and not losing your nerves, so work out stress-resistance and keep practicing. One day, your ability to solve problems might save your company’s reputation.
Smile no matter what
Remember that you’re the face, heart and soul of your organization, no matter what other people may think of your job – well, they don’t really understand what it takes, do they? To keep up, learn to give a sincere, heart-felt smile regardless of how overstressed, confused or upset you are. This approach will help you from day one and help you gain a positive reputation among your colleagues.