What does a Receptionist do?
As said before, receptionists do several jobs in one. You could say they are all-weather taskmasters who can hold down the fort in several departments. However, receptionists have some core duties, and these include:
Receptionists are adept and skilled at answering, screening, and forwarding telephone calls. Although these calls may be external or internal, it is the same thing as the Receptionist projects the best practice and best image of a company or organization. One might think it is easy to answer telephones. Still, a caller can easily detect a receptionist’s personality from their voice. So if they aren’t upbeat and welcoming, then they will likely be found out by the timbre and tone of their voice. It cannot be forced, so a receptionist must master the art of smiling through the voice even when down in the dumps or depressed. Do you see? It is a tough job.
This is where a receptionist’s actual smile and countenance plays a massive role since the Receptionist must be friendly to walk-in customers by greeting them politely while making all other visitors and customers (potential or otherwise) feel at home. This will involve the receptionists escorting the visitors/customers to specific destinations or offices as requested or not. A receptionist is thus hospitality personified.
Security and safety are critical in any organization. And guess who usually spearheads the two? Yes, you’re right: receptionists are known for contributing to the office’s security not only by being the first point of call and therefore screening visitors but also by helping to monitor visitors’ access and making sure they don’t go where they are not supposed to go.
Receptionists focus on obtaining or sending information to their respective places, offices or destinations through documentation or documents using a computer, mail, or a fax machine. They may also physically messenger this information to where it should be or go.
Performing other administrative and support tasks involves keeping appointment calendars and diaries that organize, schedule, and direct activities towards fulfilling duties and goals.
What qualification does one need?
O or A-level and a diploma is an added advantage
Somewhere up to three years of relevant experience in an office environment
You must be able to use Microsoft Office
You must be able to type 35 words per minute, minimum
Your telephone voice must be pleasing and welcoming
Ability to read, also write, and speak good English is a must
Comfortable with multi-tasking and prioritizing tasks without guidance
Excellent interpersonal and overall communication skills
It would be best if you were disciplined, punctual with a clean record from where you worked previously.
Copying, filing and maintaining documents and records is of primordial and vital importance. This keeps data, which is the heart and soul of any organization or company. Since, as we all know, information is power and receptionists are guardians of the same.
Collecting, sorting, distributing, and preparing mail and courier deliveries so that the Receptionist becomes a one-stop-shop for sharing, creating, and sorting information that may help or harm the organization or company.
Processing and preparing travel vouchers or other documents which facilitate the activities of top, mid-level management as well as all employees who need to get from A to B. As you can see, the Receptionist is the vital cog in what keeps the company or organization moving.
Although we have just stipulated receptionists’ work, their specific responsibilities keep changing, and this depends on where they work and for whom.
We shall explain this further by saying receptionists in hospitals or clinics may get to work in gathering patients’ personal, personnel and insurance information. On top of that, they’d be the ones directing patients to the proper waiting room or which doctors to see. So you see, the work of receptionists is organization-specific.
For instance, in a corporate business, a receptionist will be brimming with smiles to greet visitors, handle employee inquiries, and handle meetings. This means that the boardroom or common conference area must be prepared and ready.
To add another twist to the plot of receptionist duty, in beauty or hair salons, they do completely different tasks which include arranging appointments, directing clients to hairdressers or stylists. In such small establishments, you may see them doing the job of cashier or accountant.
As the organizations grow larger, so do their tasks. That’s why in factories, corporations, and government offices, receptionists are busy bees providing identification tags for visitors and arranging for escorts to take said visitors to the correct or desired office.
We also have receptionists working for bus and train companies, so you will find them responding to passenger inquiries regarding departures, arrivals, stops, and other related matters.
Do you say “wow”? Well, we don’t blame you because there’s even more.
Prepare to be wowed some more.
Receptionists are ambidextrous and multitaskers that means they are skilled in using their skills in both hands and doing several jobs at once!
They will be using the telephone while typing on the computer and storing information in a host of other electronic devices.
Sure, there is voicemail, and there are other automated systems. However, receptionists are still on hand to take messages, update employees of the public’s arrival, and inform about customer arrivals or the arrival of packages, gifts or cancellations of appointments, and other administrative tasks related thereto.
We hear you getting shocked by these busy persons called receptionists. Do they ever take a break, you ask?
Yes, but that’s to help other administrative employees by doing various office tasks and thereby lightening their load.
Remember, they offer support and the receptionists we deploy do that brilliantly!
Are you suited to be a receptionist?
To ably answer that question, we must look at the personalities of receptionists.
They are friendly and outgoing
They are patient
They are conscientious and conservative so that they never bring their organizations or companies’ names into disrepute.
They are logical, efficient, orderly, and highly organized.
You will also find enterprising receptionists, which means they are willing to push the envelope and take risks based on their initiative. This makes them ambitious, assertive, extroverted, energetic, enthusiastic, confident, and optimistic.