Friday, April 09, 2010

The first voice on the phone matters!

Probably the least paid person in any organization is the company receptionist, but having a good person at this post is vital to your business. We have all heard the old adage that “you never get a second chance to make a first impression.” If you are hiring a receptionist for the first time here are some things you might want to consider.

Is this person polite? I don’t know about you, but politeness always works with me. A person could probably tell me to go jump off a cliff, and if it was said with a smile and polite demeanor, I would probably at least take a look at the ledge. Politeness includes good grammar and pleasant respectful tone of voice and demeanor.

Is this person technically adept? There is nothing more irritating to me than a receptionist that mistakenly hangs up on me, or leaves me on hold for more than 1 minute. Another receptionist sin is sending a potential customer call to the wrong person. Doing any of the above wastes your sales and marketing efforts and can cast your business in a bad light.

Does the potential receptionist know the area? This is a very important skill when potential customers are trying to find your business. A good interview question for a receptionist might be “describe to a lost but important potential customer how to arrive at our location.” If he/she can do that, you have a potential winner!

Finally, many customer service trainers will counsel new customer service representatives to smile while they are on the phone. Some companies like GE buy mirrors for representatives, so that customer service people can check to see if they are smiling. It helps to keep a pleasant attitude especially if they are primarily on the telephone which is a main job function of the company receptionist.

Try these tips next time you are looking for a potential receptionist and may your find a winner!

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