Sunday, October 8, 2017

How to Be a Good Receptionist

How to Be a Good Receptionist

When you are a receptionist, you are often the first person that someone meets in connection with the business you work for – you are the first impression of your company.  That can put a bit of pressure on you and make the job seem intimidating.  But if you are trained and prepared for the role, then you can be a good receptionist and make that winning first impression.

Skills for the job

If you are considering a career as a receptionist, then it definitely pays to get some professional receptionist training both to learn the basics of the job and to have a qualification behind you to enhance your CV.  There are lots of good courses available around the country that can help with the soft skills, customer services, telephone skills and even assertiveness that you will need in the role.
But what skills do you need to be a successful receptionist?

Technology skills

For starters, you need to have a good mastery of the tools of the trade – often phone systems, computers and other office equipment.  While you may encounter specialist systems within a business, if you have good basic skills then it will be easier to adapt them to the bespoke system the company is using.  Areas such as the use of spreadsheet and word processing software, email systems and being fluent on the internet will all help with the daily role.

Organizational abilities

There’s no doubt that you need to be a natural organizer to take on this kind of role because you are effectively organizing the whole company.  You guide people to the right people within the business, either in person or on the phone.  You handle queries and questions, help find information for customers and other businesses and handle correspondence both electronic and physical.  This all takes high-quality organizational abilities.

Great listening skills

Sometimes we aren’t natural listeners, only hearing part of what is being said because we are focused elsewhere.  But as a receptionist, your listening skills need to be top notch.  You might be handling a number of phone calls at one time as well as people visiting the business.  You need to listen to what they are telling you and act on it, while not being distracted by everything else that is going on.

Personable approach

There’s a certain expectation that the first person you meet in the business will be friendly, personable and able to help you – as the receptionist, that is often your role.  Therefore, you need to cultivate this personable approach, being upbeat and having a smile on your face even if you are grimacing internally.  Asking if you can help before someone tells you what they need, greeting them on entry, all of these little touches can make a person feel welcome and therefore impress them.

Laser focus

Despite being required to do multiple things at once, you also need to have a laser focus on your jobs as a receptionist.  People might think you are just there to chat for a bit while they wait for their appointment or want to have a little banter with you while they wait to be transferred.  Be polite but be focused and don’t allow others to distract you from what you need to do.  Just let them know you are there if they need you and carry on with the next person.


The receptionist is a crucial role for many types of business and is always in demand.  With the right training and honing your natural abilities, you can be one of the people who makes that instant winning impression on someone when they reach your company.