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Thursday, May 17, 2012

Martie's Tips on How to be a Spiffy Receptionist

Before I was hired on at BerberichTrahan & Co., I had worked retail most of my life.  I knew customer service and how to make people feel welcome.  I think that trait is why they hired me with no previous office experience.   I remember when I started I was very concerned about doing a good job so I would dig through the internet trying to find pointers on how to be a good receptionist.  Now four years later I would like to extend a hand and share what I have learned in hopes of helping someone else new to reception work.  I give you….

Be Positive

No matter how bad your day is, do your best to be positive when you are working with clients.  Your problems are not their problem and your attitude will affect their entire visit to the office.  Be friendly and courteous, think of the clients as a guest in your own home.  How would you treat a guest?  Like an inconvenience or would you be a gracious host?

Smile on the Phone

If you smile while you are talking it changes the way you sound.  Smiling while you answer the phone makes you sound more inviting and gives the person on the other end a sense of ease.  Try it and see!

Candy, Candy, Candy

When I started, the front desk candy basket held just a couple of hard candies that no one wanted.  I decided to buy some chocolate and other candies that are popular.  Soon our candy bowl became a prominent feature of a client’s visit to our firm.  I paid for the candy out of pocket in the beginning but it was an investment that was well made.  Now the firm pays for the candy and sees it as a valuable way to give back to our clients.


I attended some continuing education classes and one of them covered the art of remembering names.  I put what I learned into action and found I could easily remember clients names after not seeing them for over a year.  This impressed our clients and made them feel more important to us.  The tricks I use are 1) say the person’s name aloud while meeting them, “Hello Mr. Smith, nice to meet you”.  2) think of someone or something familiar while talking to them.  When you see their face again that image will come to mind and you will remember the name.  Like meeting Mr. Conch, think of a sea shell, when you see him again, you will picture the shell and remember the name.

NO Gossip

Being in a centralized location and taking all calls to the firm, you are in the unique position to get the dirt on everyone.  Keep information to yourself, or even better, don’t even let it register with you.  Gossip does nothing but stir drama and hurt productivity.  Be professional no matter how sensational the information might be.  If it is something that would harm the firm and your supervisor should know, share with them but no one else. 

Show Some Interest

Berberich Trahan & Co. is an accounting firm.  I quickly realized I needed to learn about accounting to really understand what our people do.  I read some online articles, checked out some books and so on.   The more I learned, the more I could understand what our people needed from me to get their job done quickly and effectively.

Momma’s Gotta Be Resourceful

I am a mom at home and I have found that often I am a mini-mom to the office staff.  I help them find things that are lost, I show them how to use fax machine, and listen when they have had a bad day.  I also keep essentials in my desk like Band-Aids, cough drops, cold medicine, tissue boxes and granola bars.  It’s fun to be able to say “here, I’ve got what you need”. 

Have Fun

Be professional, but still enjoy what you do.  If you cannot have fun in your job then there is nothing to look forward to each day.  Find ways to laugh and do things that make the day more colorful for everyone.  You will be surprised how well your efforts are received. 
These guys have the right idea.  Office weaponry at it's finest!

Well I hope this helps get you started.  Just remember to find joy in everything you  do, your positive outlook will be contagious. 

1 comment:

  1. Martie, these are awesome hints and ideas, I work on the phone taking calls from clients all over Canada. I am upbeat and positive when they call in. They ask me how my day is and I say fabulous... you can hear a good 90% of the clients changing their attitude. Most clients when they call in numerous times and get me, say... oh Launna, I am so happy I reached you, I think that is wonderful that they remember me and are grateful that they have reached me.