There’s a reason North Americans and Brits devote an entire day to receptionists every year (Ie., National Receptionist Day). It’s because they’re truly the office superstar! Most receptionists are an office’s Jack or Jill of all trades, meticulously answering phones, scheduling and confirming appointments, answering emails, completing overflow tasks, keeping coffee pots topped off, and more.
How they accomplish all this while greeting each and every visitor to a business only adds to their awesomeness. Though they’re rarely recognized for it, your receptionist is quite possibly the most important person in your business. Without him or her, you and the rest of your staff would spend most of your day running around like chickens with their heads cut off!
Here are 6 reasons your receptionist is your offices VIP.
1. Receptionist are almost always responsible for first impressions
Your office’s receptionist is usually the first contact a customer has with your business. This holds true for either in-house or virtual receptionist. They’re the first voice they hear when calling, and the first smiling face a customer sees when they walk through the front door. First impressions are everything.
It’s crucial to the success of the majority of businesses to take care when choosing a person to take on this role. Their appearance, personality, hygiene, and mannerisms all determine how customers will perceive them.
2. They’re the office’s top performing problem solver
The very best out there can do 100 tasks at once, while giving callers and walk-ins their time and patience with smile painted across their face. Fact is, few team members will have the multitasking ability that a professional receptionist does.
Managers and other team members often rely on the receptionist to solve some of the most complex problems, like tracking down lost packages, organizing big meetings with clients and staff, and fixing issues with customers.
3. There’s little a receptionist can’t handle
A good friend of mine, who’s an established businessman, once told me how his very petite female receptionist changed the tire on his car one day after realizing it had gone flat. She noticed the flat while he was busy on an important conference call, and knew he needed to rush across town to an important meeting as soon as the call ended.
Apparently, she did this with her bluetooth headset intact, answering incoming calls as she installed his spare tire! While I don’t encourage forcing employees to do such tasks, a good receptionist will see issues before they happen, interacting with everyone in the office, fixing impossible problems, and overall playing interference wherever they’re needed throughout the day.
4. They’re the most organized person in the office
When thinking about just how organized receptionists are, memories abound of the days before technology started replacing paperwork. Receptionists of the day would have the most impeccable organization of paperwork on their desk, and know the purpose of each and every document.
All this was done while greeting customers and completing their requests, answering one call after the other, and fielding pleas for help from coworkers — all without breaking a sweat. Receptionists are master organizers, even though modern technology allows them to keep most of what they’re working on entirely on the screen in front of them these days.
5. Receptionists are master communicators and negotiators
Those who can’t communicate clearly, and be as convincing as an FBI negotiator need not apply in this line of work. Receptionists are amazing listeners, able to seamlessly extract the most important details from a conversation, and fulfill whatever need is being asked of them.
They can read between the lines to get to the heart of any matter. Your office receptionist can make a single call and move mountains, even when everyone else who tried before them failed. Best, you never know when a good receptionist is feeling the heat. They just keep on keeping on regardless of what kind of fires are erupting around them.
6. Your receptionist is the office favorite!
Because he or she does so much for everybody around them in the office, they’re the one everyone likes best. They’re the office favorite and completely irreplaceable. The receptionist knows even the most introverted staff members and customers intimately.
When they have to take the occasional vacation day, or even leave to see the dentist for an hour, things around the office generally start to break down quickly. Even still, the minute they come back, everything seems to fall back into place like nothing happened. Chaos ensues whenever your receptionist isn’t in the building.
If you disagree with any of the observations listed above, you might need to consider getting a new receptionist. They need to be the shining star in the office, able to handle whatever gets thrown at them. They’re the intermediary between your staff and customers, and can handle any challenge (Eg., my friend’s tire-changing receptionist phenom).
If you haven’t thanked him or her for all they do recently, make sure to do so the next time you see them!