Customer Service Check: Your Receptionist

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Customer service should never be sacrificed by any company. That is why it is so important that you select your front line persons carefully.

Customer Service

 

Have you ever called to get information from a company and the person who answers the phone is so lackluster that you hang up the phone? Well that has happened to me and it will keep happening as long as companies continue to put persons at the front line who have no desire to be there. As long as I can get what I need from another company I do not see the need to spend my money with that company.

Now, we know that many times the person who is answering the phone is not the owner of that business. Therefore, as the owner of any business it is your duty to properly screen the person who is the face of your company. The person who answers the phones for your company can either make or break your company.

It may not seem important but your receptionist or the person who answers your phones is a very important person. Many times he or she is the first contact your potential or current customers have with the company. This first contact should count and as such much care must be taken in choosing this person. It should be communicated to this person how important their role is and that how they respond can turn off a potential customer or cause the company to lose a current customer.

reputation management road sign illustration

Training is an essential part of this and as often as possible these workers should be given refresher courses (at the expense of the company). It might be a good idea to call your own company sometimes just to hear how customers are greeted. Enlist some of your friends or family to also call now and then to see what is going on. If customers are turned off by the reception they receive initially, then no matter how good your services are beyond the receptionist it will count for nothing.

Do not be afraid to let this person go if they refuse to improve on this front end service. After all if their bad attitude is turning customers off then this will be bad for business all around.

On a much lighter note, kudos to all those receptionists who have represented their companies well.

© 2014 Mardene Carr

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Mardene R. Carr is a tech-savvy Librarian with over 15 years of experience in Jamaica, USA, Cayman Islands, Bahamas and Dominica. For more on her work please visit

http://www.researchgate.net/profile/Mardene_Carr

https://ucc-jm.academia.edu/MardeneCarr

https://conciergelibrarian.com/

 


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47 Responses

  1. Chanelle says:

    This is so true. They are the face of the company. Choosing the right receptionist for the company can make or break its success.

  2. kleebanks says:

    Ah yes, more times than I can remember, I’ve encountered rude receptionists, administrative assistants, and other front office people who were so rude, I either hung up or demanded to speak to a supervisor. NOT a good idea to have someone like that who’s so detrimental to a business.

  3. A good receptionist is totally a must for a successful business. That being said, it’s important to make them feel like they’re needed so they feel and know they can do a good job. You can almost always tell when people are unhappy in their jobs.

  4. A good receptionist definitely affects a business. Our Dr’s office has some not so great ones right now. The only thing keeping me from switching is the Dr.

  5. haha…. i met so many rude receptionist, especially in doctor offices

  6. top5life says:

    Very true post. Loved your post.

  7. Esme Sy says:

    This is so true. There were times that I hung up the phone because of unprofessional receptionists.

  8. You are so right! Receptionists play a huge role in the success of a business, that’s why the should be trained and paid according to the responsability

  9. We don’t have a receptionist since we mainly deal with people over the internet but it’s definitely important to have one that has great customer service skills!

  10. Amber says:

    I think it’s not only how they answer the phone but how they greet the customer. At some companies the receptionist is the first human contact when they arrive as well. I like the tips you have of ways to check. I have definitely had my fair share of receptionist who turned me off to a company.

  11. That kind of job was not perfect for me, i don’ have a temper for people gets angry so fast

  12. Liz Mays says:

    This reminds me of how I told my husband (ex) when he took his first professional job after college that he sounded so blah on the phone at work when he answered. He totally listened to me, and now he has so much personality and charm. He still thanks me for that!

  13. Maddie says:

    I agree that the receptionists should remain polite to customers, whether potential or current. I think because they are so keyin the business they should be payed more.

  14. Looks like a stressful job. I’m a kind of small temper person, this job was not fit for me

  15. Yes, yes, yes – receptionists can make or break a business or at least its reputation! It is often one of the lowest paying positions in a corporation and that might be the cause of the stress that some receptionists feel – undervalued. Even yesterday, I met one who I thought would spear me if she had an opportunity along a dark alley and all I did was to say good morning! LOL

    • LOL…that is exactly how I feel sometimes. I called an office to make a dental appointment and the receptionist (a male) was so rude so I did not make the appointment. I chose to spend my hard earned dollars elsewhere.

  16. Brandi H says:

    Sometimes it can be a stressful job but you still have to be professioal.

  17. michelle says:

    i think it would be great for owners to call anonymously once a week to see what the greeting is like. nothing annoys me more than an unprofessional receptionist when i need to call for information

  18. Elizabeth O. says:

    I think we’ve all experienced this. It’s really bad for business because people will feel unwelcome and unimportant if your receptionist is not much of people person. Training really comes in handy and also… maintaining a good relationship with your receptionist.

  19. Ana De Jesus says:

    I know exactly what you mean, even if you don’t like a job you should appreciate that you have one and provide good customer service!

  20. I often wonder if the companies are aware. How will they know unless reporting the receptionists. I guess after keep loosing businesses they will take a better look at causes.

  21. The receptionist is at on the front line…she makes or breaks it!

  22. It surprises me how many businesses don’t get the importance of having the right person in the job. They can’t be surly unable to engage with customers.

  23. swell conditions says:

    Oh, I’ve gotten some of those people that’s for sure!! I answer the phone at my job and always, always remain polite and friendly no matter how my day is going.

  24. Robin Rue (@massholemommy) says:

    YES! They are the person representing your business, so making sure they are pleasant is so important.

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