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Our Inbound Call Center Shares the Top 10 Bad Habits of In-House Receptionists

Our Inbound Call Center Shares the Top 10 Bad Habits of In-House Receptionists

When was the last time you placed a mystery call to your business to see how your callers are being greeted and helped? If the answer is never, it’s high time you were proactive to make certain your customer service matches your expectations.

Our inbound call center brings you the top 10 bad habits that your in-house receptionist may be guilty of

1.) Informal Answer Phrase

You call your office and to your horror, your current receptionist answers your business line, “Hello.” Even if you have a casual office atmosphere it is highly recommended that all incoming calls be greeted in a uniform, professional and consistent manner.

This slightly embarrassing faux pas can easily be remedied by simply providing your receptionist with your desired answer phrase.

2.) Doesn’t Use the Hold Button

Have you ever called a business and been privy to employee’s conversations while you were waiting to be connected to someone? If your receptionist is just covering up the mouthpiece of the telephone or setting down the receiver, your caller is not receiving professional assistance.

Explain to your receptionist that office decorum is very important to you and that you want your callers to be treated in a professional manner.   

3.) Transferring Without Instructions

It really grinds the gears of your callers if they ask to speak with a specific employee and your receptionist automatically transfers them to a voicemail box. We understand sometimes staff members are away from their desks, but your receptionist should keep the caller in the loop before transferring to the dead zone.

Have your receptionist notify your caller of the employee’s inability to come to the phone, and ask their permission to send them to voicemail.  

4.) Not Friendly = Not Acceptable

The person that answers your business phone calls is one of the most important employees you will ever have. That one person will help your callers develop first impressions of your business.  As such, it is vital to the success of your business that you select a friendly, courteous and polite individual to act as your receptionist.

If you anonymously call your office and your receptionist is rude or unpleasant, chances are you will need to replace that staff member. A receptionist can be trained in a lot of different areas but having a friendly disposition is the number one requirement for this telephone support position.        

5.) Not Confirming Caller Information

You get back from a meeting and your receptionist hands you a phone message from a potential client. You eagerly return the call in hopes of gaining a new client when you’re told, “Sorry, wrong number.” You see the dollar signs fly right out of the window as you hang up the phone.

Our inbound call center confirms all callers’ names and contact numbers before hanging up; a policy your company needs to adopt today.  

6.) Discretion Isn’t in Their Vocabulary

Discretion defined is, “the quality of behaving or speaking in such a way as to avoid causing offense or revealing confidential information.” Discretion can also mean, “the freedom to decide what should be done in a particular situation.” Some receptionists miss the meanings of this very important word and divulge confidential or unflattering information.

We all appreciate an honest and truthful employee, but one must have restraint and common sense when communicating with your callers. A simple, “I’m sorry he is not available,” is better than, “Hold on, he’s in the bathroom.” This may seem silly, but an excellent receptionist will be able to distinguish what is appropriate and what is TMI.   

7.) Hanging Up on Callers Instead of Transferring

Your receptionist is not a robot; mistakes happen to the best of us. However, if your receptionist has been trained on your office equipment and continues to hang up on various callers, something must be done. Some of the business telephones available are pretty intense and are covered in buttons that perform a multitude of different functions.

It is so important for your receptionist to be fully trained on his or her equipment. During downtime, we would also suggest that your receptionist create detailed instructions on how to perform certain functions. So if you need to initiate a conference call, and your receptionist is at lunch, you too can decipher and understand your business telephone.  

8.) Forwarding the Phones Too Early

We have all seen this happen in office settings. It’s the end of the day on a Friday and the receptionist, eager to call it quits, forwards the business phone lines to the answering machine 15 to 20 minutes before 5:00 pm.

No one wants to be a killjoy, but your receptionist needs to understand the importance of their role at your office. All receptionists need to appreciate that incoming calls equals potential new business, and new business equals profits. Don’t let the front of your office slack and be sure to explain why business calls need to be answered until the end of the business day.  

9.) Not Knowledgeable of Your Business

Receptionists often answer frequently asked questions and it is very important that they are able to do so. If your receptionist answers a question incorrectly or misinforms a caller, you can potentially lose business for that incompetency.

Properly training office staff is vital for any business owner. Teach your receptionist that if they do not know an answer to a customer’s question, to not guess.  

10. Lack of Professionalism

The last on our list of bad habits of in-house receptionists is the most important. Professionalism is a trait that cannot be described in just one example. Here are a few questions that can help you to reach a conclusion on your receptionist’s level of professionalism. Does your receptionist:

  • • Report to work on time?
  • • Refrain from cursing or using vulgar language?
  • • Answer each incoming call promptly?
  • • Leave personal issues for after work?
  • • Go above and beyond to ensure quality customer service?

If you have answered yes to all of the questions above, congratulations, you have a professional receptionist. If you answered no, it’s time to consider intense training for your in-house receptionist.   

Need More Telephone Support? Our inbound call center is here to help!

If you have performed your mystery calls and realized that your in-house receptionist is guilty of these bad habits, it’s time for action. Our inbound call center can act as a relief for your current receptionist so that he or she can be put through additional training.

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