Customer experience starts at the first contact with your business.
Consider your most important staff members. The first that come to mind may be executives, sales people, or those in finance, but not many minds will focus on the receptionists.
However, one of the first employees a customer to your business comes across on the phone is the receptionist or attendant who attends main numbers to the business, branch, or department.
“Typically, receptionists are a very small part of the organization but one of the most important,” says James Cadman, VP of Customer Success, before outlining why these receptionists and attendants are crucial within a company.
“They have a lot of customer interactions and they typically spend a very short time with the customer, but they have a really high volume of calls. Therefore, they have a huge impact on the first impression a person has of the company,” says James.
“As they are often the first port of call, they will naturally have a lot of customer interaction. How they act and speak influences the experience that the people calling into the business have.”
“Receptionists are really the everything to everyone and they play an important role within the organization,” says James. “Many roles that involve answering phones will also include some organizational duties.
“Therefore, desk attendants and receptionists will also be required to carry out tasks such as ordering Taxis for guests, grabbing some lunch, or organizing catering for a meeting. They also provide a service for their colleagues inside the company, helping to connect them to the right internal or external endpoint, saving their co-workers time in the process.”
“Receptionists fulfill two really opposite roles. They are simultaneously the concierge, but also act as a firewall. They filter calls that come into the office in pursuit of staff members, and in particular, the senior management team. Receptionists check if the colleague is available to take a phone call or prioritize specific calls, minimizing disruption and allowing their colleague to focus.”
“Taking phone calls will not be the only job that call attendants and receptionists are required to do. They will also need to undertake other menial jobs, keeping office supplies stocked for example, as well as managing a database of the email addresses and phone numbers for their colleagues, taking messages and getting in touch with individuals in demand.”
“As their job involves greeting people who enter the business, receptionists and call attendants build a good relationship with their colleagues. This is especially true of senior management as call attendants and receptionists provide a service to them to keep disruption to a minimum. As a result, their opinion is taken into consideration and valued when it comes to implementing systems and solutions they will have to work with.”
“Because they are so few people in the ‘reception world’ they often get forgotten in the transition of telephony to Teams. But as they are such an immediate part of the customer experience, companies need to have a strategy on how to move them to Teams as well,” says James.
“When migrating their telephony to Teams, companies have to give their receptionists and attendants the right tool to help them carry out their role efficiently; they need an Attendant Console designed for a high volume of calls.
James points out: “With access to an Attendant Console, receptionists and desk attendants can have a holistic view of the calls coming into the business, with information about waiting times, where the call is coming from and who the call is for. They have a powerful contact search and can check the calendars and availability of colleagues allowing them to transfer customers effectively and efficiently”