Receptionists have an important position within any organization; they are usually the first person you interact with whether that is in person or via the phone. They are brand ambassadors, and the go-to person whenever help is needed. Engaging with the front desk will give you an indication of what to expect from a company. The front desk staff is not limited to just taking calls, but when they do, what exactly should they be listening for?
Before talking about what they should be listening for, we should talk about how they are listening. Your receptionist should always be an active listener, which means being fully engaged in the current conversation. They should avoid interrupting the caller, and pay close attention to the speaker. It is also important to be a compassionate listener by putting themselves in the caller’s shoes. In addition, they should be listening to your caller without judgment and refrain from comparing the call on the line to previous situations.
Our quality assurance director, Felicia Dunumba, listens to numerous calls to ensure that our operators are engaging with clients. According to Felicia, a key skill that every receptionist or operator should have is call handling. While handling a call, an operator should focus on the tone of caller, listen actively to what’s being said, get all necessary information, and when ending the call, repeat it for clarification. Also, the ability to be quick but accurate as possible is important.
Felicia states that arguably the most important thing any receptionist or operator should display while speaking is engagement. An engaged receptionist should:
- Be a good listener
- Listen to the caller’s tone
- Show professionalism
- Show good call control
- “Smile in your voice” (Showing that you want to be on the phone and helping the caller)
- Impact at end of call; issue resolved
As Jane Streat, the Head of Client Services at Lexington Reception Services points out, being a receptionist has always been much harder work than people give it credit for. A receptionist’s role is not just one thing—it’s a multifaceted position that helps keep an office together. Training your receptionist on what to listen for not only benefits your company but more importantly the clients as well. This creates a good reputation and standard that the company provides, and ensures that the client will always leave happy.