In any company where clients can call in or be called, there is a chance to offer them a first impression in business. This impression represents the characteristics of your business moving forward. Whether it’s for customer support, cold-calling, or a first-time call, the voice and attitude that greets the customer affect them. This will either build a positive relationship or damage the representation of the company before the relationship begins to build. Startups should be aware of this early on and ensure that the first impression in business is handled by a trained, experienced receptionist.
What is the Receptionist’s Job Duties?
Most people assume that a receptionist’s sole responsibility is answering phones. The job description of the receptionist or front desk employee can vary vastly from business to business. Answering the phone is normally a small percentage of the huge list of daily tasks these important employees handle. Some examples of just a few of the receptionist’s duties include:
You guessed it, answering phones
- Outbound Calls
- Office Supply Ordering and Management
- Event Management
- Office Hygiene Management
- Daily Employee Roll Call Monitoring
- Daily Employee Tracking
- General Employee Training
- Client Meeting Scheduling
- …too much to list it all!
For the receptionist position, it is normally not easy to find free time or sometimes even break time, unless there is a larger workforce of receptionists that can cover when one is unavailable. However, for those businesses with a sole receptionist manning the front station and phones, it can be difficult to replace the many responsibilities they have when they are absent. While it may seem the production, the team is what keeps the ball rolling in a business, that ball never gains or maintains momentum without starting with the front desk employee. Click To Tweet
As said at the beginning of this article, receptionists are the first impression in business. Because of this, the front desk employee needs more than just a “really nice” characteristic. The receptionist also needs to be the most knowledgeable person to speak to about the business’s inner workings and their values. They must also be educated in telephone, email, and face-to-face etiquette when conversing with potential clients and others.
This includes understanding the “correct way” to greet customers on phone calls, or how to begin and end an email message, depending on the company standards. And, most importantly, how to represent the business when meeting with clients and leads in physical or virtual settings. The front desk employee is kind of like the role model of the company. Because whichever values they show to clients is usually what they can expect from the rest of the team.
This is why it is of the highest priority that receptionists receive high-value training in every aspect of the business. Because they will be answering most questions before clients either obtain services or schedule meetings, they must understand all of the business’s information or those same customers may never move on to the next step. Having untrained employees answering phones or contact leads is a serious risk. This can oftentimes result in the loss of the client or potential customer. This is all because of a lack of information or misrepresentation of the company. A trained, experienced receptionist will usually show the potential client what they can expect from the business all from the first impression.
Digital marketing is a lot like a first impression. Every advertisement or piece of content is an opportunity to impress someone. If you would like help with these digital-first impressions, then you should consider using our white label services.
How to Make a Good First Impression In Business
Of course, there is no standard practice for creating a good first impression in business. Each company is different. What one business might accept as best practice for a positive impression, may not always work for another company. However, there are a few suggestions on what you can do to gain that good first impression in business. Although some of them may seem obvious, many receptionists completely miss the mark on some of these suggestions and risk damaging their company’s reputation because of it. So, here are some obvious and maybe some not so obvious suggestions for getting a good first impression:
- Only Share the Information You Understand
Customers call you for answers, not guesses. Wasting a potential client’s time is a sure way to keep them from returning. Make sure to understand as much about your business as possible before trying to answer questions. And if you do not know the answer, do not just leave it at that. Ensure the customer that although you do not know the answer, you know where to find it and will offer the answer to them as soon as possible.
- Smile Audibly
Even on a phone call, people can usually pinpoint your attitude by your tone and the structure of your answers. Try to speak with a smile, no matter how you are feeling inside, and the call is usually taken with a smile. Never let someone over the phone hear your stress or frustration, because when they can not see your face, they will visualize the company itself as the voice on the other end of the line and that translates to a “Stress Out Company” or “Frustrated Company”. Remember, the receptionist is the representative of the business on that first call. Your characteristics will become the “attitude” of the company, so ensure it is a good one.
- Dress Appropriately
If the business owner hasn’t told you this already, you should still know, the way your attitude represents your business goes the same way with your appearance. Most wouldn’t assume that a person with holes in their shoes, stains on their clothes, and unkempt hair, would live in a mansion (although that can be the case sometimes) and it is the same with a business. Customers seeing the receptionist with an appearance that represents an uncaring, unclean, and undesirable appearance will see the business the same way. People will have a hard time believing you will take care of their assets when you do not take care of yourself. While there is usually not a need to go overboard in most settings with ties or uniforms, it is still important to express an appearance that shows you care for yourself and your surroundings which translates to caring for their business as well.
A proper receptionist who makes a good impression allows the customer to see that you’re the kind of business that believe you don’t just make promises, you make it happen. You will build trust with a customer and they would be more likely to hire your services.
Do not Make Your First Impression In Business Your Last
While this advice is important to all businesses, this is mainly of the highest priority to start-up companies. For startups, first impressions will be all they have at the beginning. Even with a solid business plan, strong capital, and an experienced workforce, just having an inexperienced receptionist greeting your potential clients can stop your growth before it even gets started.
It is not hard to tell that in most businesses that depend on lead generation, that the receptionist is one of the most valuable assets to the business. However, they can also be the biggest risk if they are put on the frontline without training or experience. It is essential that your receptionist does not ruin your businesses’ first impression.. While this is only the first step towards your success, it is by far one of the most important.
Need help managing your reputation? You should consider our white label reputation management services. Feel free to contact us and let us know what you think of this article. Let us know if this helped you improve your first impressions.