Being a receptionist requires a good set of skills- both soft skills and hard skills, to prosper in the career and outshine amongst the others. This article talks about all the different set of skills and qualities of a receptionist. Therefore, if you consider a career as a receptionist, this article is a must-read for you.
Table of Contents
Who is a receptionist?
A receptionist is also known as the “face of a company”. Whenever a visitor or client walks in, they get their first impression of the company from the receptionists.
A receptionist is responsible for greeting visitors, answering phone calls, replying to emails. They also prepare meeting timetables, book business trips and holidays. Various other administrative support duties are also included in their responsibilities.
Besides that, the qualities of a receptionist also include a good balance of interpersonal skills. These include persuasiveness, communication, understanding, customer-centric, etc.
You can check your personality type through a Personality test and see if your personality is suited for this profession or not.
However, depending on the industry you are in, your daily duties and roster might vary. For example, hotel receptionists might sometimes have to work on weekends. Unlike corporate receptionists, who only do weekday shifts.
On the other hand, medical receptionists must also keep a basic knowledge about healthcare and hygiene, unlike the other receptionists.
What are the top 7 qualities of a receptionist?
Some of the essential qualities of a receptionist depend on the interpersonal skills that one possess. Therefore, the personal attributes of a receptionist play a vital role in making them a quality professional.
Even though several qualities make up a good receptionist, but top essential seven qualities required in a professional receptionist is mentioned below:
1. Empathetic towards others
Customers or clients might have a varying tone of voice, depending on their current situation and mental condition. The receptionists need to have the capability to understand that and talk to them accordingly.
For example, if someone is telling you that they are having a bad day for specific reasons, you should try to make them feel that you are entirely understanding their situation and can relate to it. Because empathy uplifts the other person’s mood and helps cheer them up to an extent.
Moreover, being empathetic doesn’t necessarily mean that you have to tell them about your own life experiences. Some people might confuse this with showing sympathy towards others.
However, being sympathetic only means that you are feeling sorry for the other person. But, empathy shows that you are putting yourself in their shoes and trying to understand their situation.
It might not be an effortless thing to do daily, but this is what would make you stand out from the other receptionists.
2. Working under pressure
A receptionist frequently needs to work under a high measure of pressure. Although, comparatively, some days can go jam-packed while other days can go pretty slow-paced. They can receive numerous workloads in just a couple of moments.
An example of a very hectic day includes:
Handling many incoming emails and assigning them accordingly in a short amount of time can also be very stressful. But, doing it effectively falls under one of the qualities of a receptionist.
Apart from all these, they also need to carry out administrative tasks. It includes filing essential documents, maintaining Excel spreadsheets for various purposes. More straightforward tasks like printing and scanning documents and ensuring adequate refreshments in the office are also part of their daily tasks.
On top of that, they always need to keep a smile on their face in front of others, irrespective of the pressure that they are going through. They have to maintain their mental sanity and work at a swift pace.
Therefore, an individual who can make working under pressure look effortless and smooth in front of others can be a good receptionist.
3. Quick decision-maker
A receptionist is not expected to make any decisions for the company. However, they still need to have a general idea about each department and basic business practices.
For instance, when clients are on the line, they ask specific questions about the organization and sometimes ask for your opinion. You would not always have managers or other team members to assist in answering them.
Furthermore, if you take too long in finding out relevant answers, you might lose a potential client. Because putting your clients on hold for a long time or taking too long to answer a question, is not a good business practice. Also, it doesn’t look good on the company itself.
Therefore, having a prompt reply and giving your clients a better idea about the business operation and services provided is a quality that is well desired from a good receptionist.
4. Having good communication skills
Receptionists need to have strong communication skills as well as be a little extrovert. Communication skills are one of the most important qualities of a receptionist. It is because they have to meet and greet people every day, multiple times.
However, a good set of communication skills include both verbal and non-verbal communication.
Verbal communication is most important when you are talking to clients face to face. It would not be a tricky thing to do for someone who is an extrovert in nature.
However, introverts need to build up these skills through practice and months of experience. This communication helps to keep a conversation going as well as engage clients.
On the other hand, non-verbal communication involves tone of voice, eye contact, body language, etc. If one doesn’t maintain proper eye contact or body posture during a conversation, they might give the wrong impression to the other person and often come off as rude.
If a client doesn’t feel comfortable after speaking to a receptionist, he/she might not even have the trust towards an organization in person or over the phone. A business is likely to lose potentials customers as well as existing customers in this way. Therefore, a good receptionist needs to communicate well with everyone and maintain a healthy relationship.
5. Having patience
Being patient in certain situations is a crucial characteristic. One of the essential qualities of a front desk receptionist or a customer service agent is patience. Without patience, one can not stay form on this role for an extended period.
Some customers can get very difficult to handle. Therefore, They might not try to understand a particular concept or situation and unnecessarily yell at you. To deal with such customers, one needs to stay calm, patiently answer questions, and try to bring the problem under control without escalation.
Patience is a part of an individual’s personality. However, if it lacks in someone working as a receptionist, it might act as a disadvantage.
Receptionists have to be technologically efficient and knowledgeable. They are required to update your business’s social media profiles such as Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, etc.
Creating and maintaining Excel spreadsheets and using company-based software also fall under their duties and responsibilities.
Apart from that, they need to be well familiar with the call transfer system. Creating documents on Microsoft Word, using a complex telephone system, fax machines, scanners, photocopiers, etc., are also a few of the tech-based responsibilities of a good receptionist.
However, an individual who is very technologically advanced would do very well, even with less training, but it will take them some time to get used to it for someone who is not tech-savvy.
Therefore, being tech-savvy comes from one’s experiences or professional training. It falls under the quality to become a good receptionist, and it acts as an advantage to help you stand out.
7. Positive-attitude holder
A positive attitude holder can survive in any conditions and always show their best side to others. They are more optimistic and try to spread that positivity to others as well.
It, therefore, falls under the good qualities of a receptionist or a front-desk receptionist. They try to tone down their pessimistic side and always approach others with a positive attitude.
For instance, as a medical receptionist, you have to meet patients and their families daily during your work schedules. These people visiting a hospital or medical center would not be in their best mood due to illnesses or any other difficulties. If you can spread some positivity and give them hope that it will transform for the best no matter what the situation is, you will be helping in restoring their mental health to an extent.
It is an essential quality, especially in a front desk receptionist role. Customers would be happy with their services, but they will also help other staff members uplift their mood.
What are the qualifications of a receptionist?
To qualify for a receptionist position, you generally need to finish your A levels or GCSE examinations in the UK, with mathematics, and English being the mandatory subjects.
But, to get a professional and industry-specific degree and acquire specific skills, you can enroll in an industry-specific course. For example, if someone wants to work as a professional “Hotel Receptionist”, he/she can enroll in a Hotel Receptionist Diploma.
It will help them acquire job-specific skills and understanding and give them a basic knowledge of the industry.
Therefore, professional degrees play a significant role in bringing out the qualities of a good receptionist. It also assists an aspiring professional to stand out from the other applicants and makes them job-ready!
To conclude, receptionists are the first form of contact for a company. Suppose you possess all the qualities mentioned above. In that case, it will not only bless you with a successful career in your chosen industry but will also prove to be profitable to the organization itself.
Although a front-desk receptionist is not directly involved in generating inquiry for a business, they act as sales agents in drawing clients towards your organization through their communication and social skills.
Therefore, the receptionist’s essential qualities are very much dependent on all these factors- personality, training, and professional experience.