Their Job Is As Complex As The Next Guest

Customer service can make or break an institution. By Isabela Chanya

Receptionists are the face of organizations that they work for. They are the first and last people a customer will see, and they create the first impression of the organization in the visitor’s mind. They dictate what a visitor feels about an organization. In some places, and due to the nature of their work, receptionists are referred to as administrative assistants.

Qualities and attributes of good receptionists

Duties of a receptionist may appear to be simple, but the job is quite demanding and calls for expert skills, qualities and attributes. These include:-

  • Good communication skills; not just verbal but also written and positive body language. They must also be good listeners.
  • Good customer service skills with a positive attitude, bearing in mind that this can be perceived even over telephone conversations. 
  • Must apply professionalism in executing duties. A pleasant personality, one that will make them likable and approachable by customers. 
  • Good interpersonal skills for they interact with people who have different personalities and behaviors. They must be friendly, outgoing, and demonstrate patience. 
  • Well organized, in order to competently handle the high volume of information that they receive in the course of duty.
  • Good at multi-tasking. For instance, they must be able to handle a visitor, take a message and at the same time, pick a phone without coming out as rude.
  • Must be intelligent, computer literate and with good product knowledge.
  • Must be willing to constantly learn and adapt to new technologies so as to remain relevant in the job market.
  • Should possess self-confidence in order to win customer confidence.
  • Excellent sense of personal grooming, time-keeping, and be a good team player. 

Duties and responsibilities

Duties of a receptionist may vary from one organization to another but generally, they include:-

  • Cheerfully greeting visitors as they arrive.
  • Answering visitors’ inquiries about the organization, its products, and services.
  • Directing visitors to their required destinations or right offices.
  • Giving information about the organization to the public and customers.
  • Answering telephone calls.
  • Connecting callers and visitors with the right employees, 
  • Serving as the last contact as the guests leave.
  • Skillfully handling minor guest complaints while escalating more complex ones.
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