Saturday, September 17, 2011

First Impressions - be a Receptionist

We form impressions of people in the first few seconds that we meet them and it takes a lot to overturn first impressions. The same is true of our impressions of companies - the first few seconds are very important. This is why the receptionist has such an important role in a company. Very often she or he is the first person in the company that a visitor will meet face to face and the friendliness and professionalism displayed will form a major part of the visitor's impression of the company.

Yesterday I was reminded that everyone has the role of receptionist from time to time - the first person seen by a visitor - and so we all need to make sure we are giving a good impression of the organisation we are representing. In my case yesterday I was manning the barriers where the road was closed for the carnival street market in our local village, Mayfield. So I was the first person many visitors to our village met.

It rained heavily for a while so I was wet and I was at the barrier for over three hours, often with periods where no-one new needed help or directions. So at times it was difficult to stay as helpful as possible to people asking about parking or how to get round the closed portion of the road. My respect increased for receptionists who have greet visitors all day every day however they are feeling.

In any organisation we need to work out how we can support those who are meeting and greeting visitors (as their regular job or just from time to time), remind them of their critical role and structure their work to help them make that vital great first impression.

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