5 Reception Best Practices
The reception area is the first visual impression customers get of your company, not only in appearance but what processes you have in place. The physical reception location, as well as your phone reception procedures, are a representation of your company. The first interaction potential customers have with your business is often over the phone. Call Center Sales Pro has worked with companies for over 40 years and has identified five reception best practices to help you put your best foot forward. These best practices apply to phone and in-person techniques.
1. Use the Customers First Name
A person’s name is the greatest connection to their identity and individuality. Make a habit of using your customers’ names when they visit the office. This rule also applies when you have callers; since there is no visual connection using their names makes it more personal. In his famous book How to win friends and influence people, Dale Carnegie stated that “a person’s name to them the sweetest and most important sound in any language.” This personal touch helps create a bond between your business and customers.
2. Confirm Customer Information
When gathering new customer information, always confirm it, especially if they call through the phone. Confirming prevents miscommunication with important information. Some of the most vital information to confirm is as follows.
- Home and billing addresses: without these, invoicing can be difficult.
- Call back information and email. If a call drops or they miss an appointment, you want to be able to contact them.
- Insurance information: if this is relevant to your business, even transposing one number can set back getting paid by weeks.
These details are necessary to avoid issues in billing collection and customer service. To confirm, always read back the information and get verbal confirmation from the customer.
3. Keep Reception Clean and Organized.
One of the most noticeable of the reception best practices is cleanliness. Your reception area represents your company, so make sure you put your best foot forward. Keeping a clean and organized workspace also helps with staying on top of the workload and having a clear mind.
Keep the reception area looking nice. You want customers to feel comfortable, which means ensuring things stay clean and updated. Floors should be vacuumed/swept daily, surfaces wiped, and trash emptied. Also, if the paint starts chipping or furniture gets damaged, update/ replace it. A neat reception area can ease customers, especially if they have an extended wait time.
Keep electronic and paper filing systems organized: If customers see that you are not keeping their information secure, they lose trust instantly. You will also have difficulty accessing information without a sound filing system that lets you sort and organizes customer information. Consider investing in an electronic filing system.
4. Use Scripts for Phone Calls.
Create a script your receptionist can use to ensure all callers get accurate answers. Scripts can help for several different reasons; the top few are:
- Decrease training time. The system easily guides receptionists through each call. It provides them with a custom script with the exact information they need at the time they need it. Updates can easily be made to the script if there is a change in patient or visitor policies.
- Increase productivity. Instead of putting the caller on hold and searching for answers, staff who use scripting can find the information they need in just a few clicks. Therefore, proper scripting can resolve many calls within a few minutes.
- Promote consistency and reduce errors. Scripting ensures that the correct customer info is collected, giving the caller the most updated information. Scripts also keep receptionists from violating regulations since they will always know the next thing to say, taking the proper action at the end of the call.
5. Preregister New Customers
Once a new client is gained, don’t wait till the last minute to get all their information. Send them a preregistration link in advance via your CRM. This way, you collect as much information as before and save everyone time once you are ready to start work. If you can do this, you will significantly reduce errors and free up your receptionist’s time. This efficient method is the most time-saving of all the reception best practices.
A fully staffed reception helps you stay caught up and process customers faster. However, some things, such as maternity leave, sick days, and vacations, can result in an understaffed reception. If doing all these seems daunting, outsource when necessary; a short-term and often more efficient tool is an answering service. Call Center Sales Pro is the leading provider of Telephone Answering Services and Call Center Support Services. With over 40 years of communication management expertise, CCSP provides solutions that empower our professionally trained agents to become a seamless extension of your business!