October 26, 2007
The lowly receptionist. It can be about as entry level a job as you can get. It is not a position many people would say they aspire to. You greet people. You answer the phone. It's that simple.
Someone who calls or comes in a grumpy mood can be in a very different disposition after visiting with a great receptionist. Maybe customers will then be more inclined to buy more, or be more at peace before they talk about a problem with an order. Maybe authors will get the idea that this is a place full of great people, the kind of people they'd like to work with. Maybe a job prospect would think the same thing.
What about an emergency? Does your receptionist have the training and the mature presence of mind to deal with the unexpected--which more than likely could occur at the front door of an office?
What about being a helpful source of information? Sometimes visitors will chat casually with a receptionist in a way that could be helpful to managers in evaluating job candidates or in knowing about the customer's daughter who just got married.
As the saying goes, you can only make a first impression once. A receptionist is often that once.