Is Your Receptionist a Gatekeeper or a Brand Ambassador?

Do you describe your receptionist as a “gatekeeper”? It’s a common term in receptionist job descriptions these days. Highly-trained receptionists can limit interruptions by carefully screening calls and deciding which lucky few are transferred through. The intention is noble: To increase office productivity. However, by positioning clients, potential clients, and other callers as the “enemy,” your company image may ultimately suffer.

Not all calls need to be handled right away, but every call is an opportunity to create a lasting impression. Add these three maneuvers to your receptionist training to turn a “gatekeeper” into a brand ambassador:

  • Treat each caller like an influencer. Every caller’s experience has the potential to go viral. Whenever possible, keep screening questions simple, and use a familiar style and friendly tone to put callers at ease and show them you care about their call.
  • Smile. Callers can hear a smile in your voice — even through thousands of miles of telephone wire. Whether their call is connected or not, folks will appreciate being able to relay their message to a cheerful person.
  • Err on the side of caution. Did your caller mispronounce the CEO’s name? It could be a solicitation call, or it could be a potential new client who had been browsing your company website and is ready to sign up. It may take a few extra seconds to correctly identify an unwanted call, but the time will be well worth it if your professionalism secures a big new account!

Photo by Flickr user A National Acrobat

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