May 8th is National Receptionists Day, a chance to show your receptionist how essential they are to the success of your business. Receptionists are the voice of your company and your brand. They are often responsible for the first impression callers have of your company. They can win over first time callers with their charm. They can deescalate high tension callers before they are transferred to a customer service representative. They keep your company running.
We’re so thankful for receptionists and everything they do for businesses. After all, it’s what our company is built on! We see firsthand, everyday, how much power our virtual receptionists have to make a business successful. So, in honor of National Receptionists Day, we asked 5 of our own amazing virtual receptionists to share their insights and offer advice to help other receptionists perform to the highest standard every day.
What is the biggest challenge you face as a receptionist? How do you overcome it?
- Diane Carpella: The biggest challenge that I encounter is that almost every call I take is so different. Although most calls go according to script, some take a different direction and force me to think on my feet. In these cases, I’m always thinking about how to be helpful to the caller and also keep the client happy.
- Lydia Ginsberg: Keeping the right attitude is difficult because so many calls have such a different feel. One moment I am speaking to someone who is going through something very exciting and the next I may be speaking to someone who is calling because they don’t have any heat in their home. Listening and empathy are key in these situations.
- Natalya Anderson: People can be so rude sometimes. I need to constantly remind myself not to take things personally. It’s helpful that part of my bonus is tied to me being polite under any circumstances. It’s also helpful knowing that all of my calls are recorded. I know that I can’t lose my cool, no matter how rude the caller on the other line is.
- Felicia Jordan: I don’t feel people really talk as much anymore. With texting and Facebook, a lot of people are rarely on the phone unless they have to be, and sometimes don’t even know really how to talk. It’s frustrating to have to keep bringing the conversation back into something concise which allows me to do my job.
- Talia Malone: Wearing so many different hats is not always easy. One call I am answering for a tow truck company, the next a funeral home, the next a doctor, and then a restaurant. I’m fortunate to have all of the instructions laid out nicely for me, but it’s still a challenge to be so many different receptionists.
What do you feel is the most important part of your job?
- Diane Carpella: Consistency. I feel a caller should get the same high level of service, no matter when they call. No matter the circumstances, no matter what I am dealing with, I need to deliver a level of service that our clients have grown to expect.
- Lydia Ginsberg: Smiling. In training, we were taught to smile. That the callers actually hear this through the phone line. I remember thinking that was silly, but it turns out to be true. If I am smiling it comes through and rubs off a little on the caller.
- Natalya Anderson: I think the fact that I am the voice of the company I’m answering for is so very important. Many people who call a company for the first time actually end up reaching an answering service. It is vital for me to make a good first impression.
- Felicia Jordan: For me, efficiency is the most important part of what I do. The most successful phone calls I’m consistently evaluated highly on on are the ones that are the most concise. When engaging in a shorter call, less can go wrong and the client isn’t paying for wasted agent time.
- Talia Malone: Manners, like saying “please” and “thank you”, are the most important for me. It makes me feel good to make someone else feel good just by being polite. Plus, manners are a way to show the caller that they are important to you. It works the same with co-workers.
What advice do you have for receptionists today?
- Diane Carpella: Practice empathy. You don’t know what the caller is dealing with on their side. Think beyond the way that they are treating you on the phone call. They may be going through something very difficult in their life. This isn’t about you. It’s about the caller.
- Lydia Ginsberg: Take pride in your job. What you are doing is very important. You’re not a key member of just your company, you’re a key member to the thousands of small businesses that you answer for. Too many operators just look at the task and not the bigger picture.
- Natalya Anderson: I guess to always be learning. There are so many resources out there, articles, videos, tutorials, that can help you do your job better. Use them. I know I do! By taking your job seriously enough to try to learn about it, makes you a better agent. The better an agent you are, the more likely you are to succeed.
- Felicia Jordan: What works for me is showing up early, staying late, not gossiping, and not complaining. My mother gave me that advice, and it works. It’s amazing how you stand out in this day and age by flying under the radar.
- Talia Malone: I would say to treat every caller like you want to be treated. Kindness really does spread. If you treat someone well, you will be treated well in return. It doesn’t always seem to work out that way when you are on the receiving end of an irate caller, but it always comes back to you.
So on Friday, May 10th, in honor of National Receptionist Day, recognize everything your receptionists do to help your business grow!