A front desk receptionist performs an important role within an organization by being the first person a client encounters. The receptionist can have a tremendous impact on the company’s ability to make a positive impression and offer quality customer service. Front desk receptionists perform a variety of administrative tasks and can transfer skills for work in almost any industry. Receptionists are generally required to have a high school diploma and good interpersonal skills.
Examples of customer service duties may involve checking in patrons of a hotel, scheduling appointments with patients at a doctor’s office or coordinating sales meetings for staff members in a corporation. The particular job tasks will vary depending on the type of employer, but the central idea of providing quality service so customers return underlies all basic responsibilities. A receptionist is responsible for greeting visitors, answering basic questions and directing customers to the appropriate resources within the company.
A receptionist may handle an organization’s external communication including postal mail, email, phone calls and faxes. Receptionists may answer phones and take messages, coordinate special deliveries or outgoing mail, fax documents to clients or other businesses and respond to general emails for the company. A person in this position may also play an important role with a company’s internal communication by managing calendars, emailing important announcements to other staff members, scheduling company meetings and events and relaying messages between employees.
Access and Security
Front desk receptionists can have considerable control over the security of a company and access to particular people by screening communication. Prospective clients or solicitors to an organization must often deal with the front desk receptionist to schedule a meeting or obtain desired information. In organizations such as government offices or medical practices, the front desk receptionist must ensure the visitor or caller has appropriate clearance to access records or meet with staff members. Productive salespeople recognize the front desk receptionist as a gatekeeper to the company who can make or break a potential sales opportunity.
In addition to working with customers, a front desk receptionist may be required to handle internal projects for management. These assignments may involve data entry, creating spreadsheets, typing memos, researching information or organizing events. Projects may involve confidential documents and require use of word processing, spreadsheet or other business software.