Receptionist Responsibilities

Receptionist Responsibilities

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Jim Ellis Automotive Group

  • Our receptionists are the heart of our dealership group.

  • Receptionists are in many cases the first person in contact with customers both by phone and in person.
  • The FIRST impression is the most powerful!
  • Every office that presents itself to the public in any way requires a face to meet the public. Although excellent communication over the phone and by email are important to the reception staff, it is the face-to-face communication that distinguishes a receptionist from a Customer Service Representative. Oftentimes, when a person (vendor, applicant, community member) enters your workplace, the first thing they will see is the receptionist- and first impressions are always important.

Jim Ellis Automotive Group

#1 Have top-notch organizational skills. Receptionists are the people that represent the face of the company—they are the ones that clients first speak with and the people that coworkers go to for information and help. Aside from taking calls and directing visitors, they often deal with clients, organize events, set up meetings, etc. With all these responsibilities, receptionists need to be really organized while dealing with multiple duties at once. A person won’t last long as a receptionist if he/she can’t juggle more than one thing at a time and deal with them effectively and in an orderly fashion.

Jim Ellis Automotive Group

#2 Have some knowledge about technology under your belt. The number one piece of technology receptionists have to deal with is the telephone—and all of the buttons and separate lines that come with it. Computer skills are also a must—most receptionists have to know how to us email and must be skilled at word processing. It is also helpful to know how to create spreadsheets, and use any industry-specific programs.

*Keep in mind that if the copier, scanner, or printer are near your desk, you will most likely be depended on to use them (and troubleshoot for coworkers who run into problems while using them.) Once you know the kind of machine being used at your office, brush up on its main functions and the ways to fix common problems.

Jim Ellis Automotive Group

#3 Be dependable. A receptionist is counted on to man the desk at all times—it reflects poorly on the company if no one picks up the phone, or there is a line of people waiting to be helped. Make being dependable a priority—if your boss knows that you are reliable and are always there to help, you become indispensable.

Jim Ellis Automotive Group

#4 Possess excellent listening skills. A big part of being a receptionist is listening to people—whether it is on the phone, a question a client is asking, or information being relayed to you. Being able to listen well will make you more efficient—you will be able to solve problems quickly when you understand what the person is asking the first time around, and you’ll connect clients to the person they are trying to reach quickly.

Jim Ellis Automotive Group

#5Take notes on everything. If a boss asks you to do something, takes notes on the specifics. If a customer calls, make sure to write down their information (name, contact information, what they want, etc.) Notes are a great way to stay organized and remind you of all the little things that come up during the day. Keep your notes in a notepad and have it with you at all times. You will be surprised by how helpful they are, especially when trying to remember what the person who called five hours ago wanted.

*Make sure you write out messages in detail and read over what you have written. Most importantly when taking a message, repeat back the message and contact info that you were given so that you can make sure before you hang up that you have the proper information to relay.

Jim Ellis Automotive Group

#6 Answer the phone politely with a standard greeting such as “Good Morning, thank you for calling Jim Ellis (Dealership), my name is _________, how may I direct your call?. Make sure the phone is answered on the first or second ring. It is not good to keep people on hold for more than one minute. (It’s longer than you think!) Listen carefully to the name of the person the caller is asking for. Repeat back to caller if necessary. Cell phones often distort sounds. Write the person’s name to whom the call is directed if pronunciation is difficult.

Direct the call politely with a standard phrase such as “One moment please for Mr. Smith.” Or if that individual is on the phone, “I am sorry, Mr. Smith is on the phone at the moment. Would you like to wait on hold or would you like to leave him a voicemail message?” Politely thank them and direct the call accordingly.

 

Jim Ellis Automotive Group

#7 Direct your customers’ phone calls to the specific department or person. Many times you may receive a phone call that is not for your dealership. It is important that you direct the call to the specific person and not just the receptionist at the other dealership. Customers do not like to be transferred to someone they have to tell their story to again. Keep updated with your directories so that you can quickly and efficiently transfer the call to the appropriate person. Attached is a list of corporate departments that vendors are sometimes seeking. Please be certain to print out this list and keep it current.

 

 

Jim Ellis Automotive Group

#8 Greet delivery personnel with the same professionalism and politeness as any other visitor. You may be required to sign for deliveries. Make sure your signature is legible. Delivery personnel may need directions where to leave packages. Make sure you contact appropriate employees for such matters.

 

Jim Ellis Automotive Group

#9 It’s important that you be able to give directions to and from your dealership. There are many maps available on the internet that you can use to be able to assist customers with directions. A basic map of Atlanta is attached for you to be able to print out and have at your desk to help those customers. Have a good idea of where you are located relative to all major interstates and highways around your area so you can quickly assist anyone who is “lost”.

 

Jim Ellis Automotive Group

#10 Handle customers who come to your business with efficiency and politeness. After the visitors identify who they are and who they are looking for, contact that individual and let her/him know who is there. Always get a first and last name and the name of the organization they are from (if appropriate). It is helpful to ask if they have an appointment with Mr. Smith. Mr. Smith will give you instructions about where to have the visitor wait and for how long. You can then tell visitor “Mr. Smith will be with you in a moment.” or “Mr. Smith said that he is finishing up a meeting and will be with you in 5 minutes. Please have a seat. Thank you.

Jim Ellis Automotive Group

#11 If you come up against a challenging client, remind yourself that you are a strong, happy individual. Tell yourself that they are acting out of frustration but know that as long as you are trying your best to accommodate them, you are not the one at fault. Follow your training on “How to Deal with Difficult Customers.” It is better to be the one that keeps your head than the one who explodes and looks like an ornery, mean person.

A few customers might not be able to contain their irritation. If the customer uses excessive foul language or calls you or others foul names, politely advise the customer, “Sir/Madam, please call back when we can speak calmly and rationally about your issue.” and hang up.

Jim Ellis Automotive Group

#12 Have a positive attitude. As mentioned before, receptionists are the face of the company—they are who clients deal with first, and the person who answers the question of people who can’t come into the office. No one wants to be greeted by a sour expression and a grumpy attitude. Make it a priority to always have a smile on your face and a cheerful, upbeat personality. Even with fellow employees! Remember to stay patient with challenging people, even if they get on your last nerve. If you come up against a challenging client, remind yourself that you are a strong, happy individual. Tell yourself that they are acting out of frustration but know that as long as you are trying your best to accommodate them, you are not the one at fault. Follow your training on “How to Deal with Difficult Customers.” It is better to be the one that keeps your head than the one who explodes and looks like an ornery, mean person.

Jim Ellis Automotive Group

#13 Have a greeting ready. It is always important to greet your clients in a friendly way. Even if you must continue with what you are doing before helping them. It’s important to greet them so that they feel acknowledged and know that you will help them in a moment.

*Some greetings are “Hi! Welcome to Jim Ellis, I’ll be with you in just one moment!”

Jim Ellis Automotive Group

#14 Be courteous. Be respectful. Treat everyone like they are the most important person that has walked into the dealership that day. This is your job—customers don’t care how you got stuck in traffic this morning, how you ruined your brand new purse, or even how you lost your favorite CD. Leave personal matters at home. (Even if you don’t respect their message or the way they convey it—fake it.) Overall, make sure the person is totally relaxed and happy to talk to you.

Jim Ellis Automotive Group

#15 Dress to impress. You are representing a business, thus you should dress the part. Invest in some business casual clothes (these are not the same clothes you would wear on the weekend). Tend to the conservative.

*Jim Ellis Automotive Group has a dress code that is in your handbook which is available on the Jim Ellis Employee Portal.

*If you are at home and you question whether or not you should wear a particular outfit. Don’t. That’s your gut telling you it’s probably

inappropriate.

*Keep your appearance neat and tidy throughout the day.

Jim Ellis Automotive Group

#16 Always be willing to learn a new task or do a mundane task. Versatility goes a long way.

  • Ask co-workers if they need help with anything. Better to make friends by helping than enemies by complaining.
  • Remember who signs your paycheck and respect them at all times.
  • Be nice to managers, see if you can help them with additional tasks during your free time.
  • Write messages in a duplicate book and give one copy to the person the message is for. Or use a diary, which is easier to refer back to, especially to recall a name or number.

 

Jim Ellis Automotive Group

#16 Continued

  • Handling mail is usually part of a reception job, find out where it goes, who will bring it, and when, on your first day.
  • Keep personal business away from your area - this includes cell phone calls and emails. IT departments can and will screen computer activities.
  • Find someone to take the desk for bathroom breaks, meetings, holidays, lunches, etc. This way you avoid having angry people waiting for you when you return.
  • Discourage employees “hanging out” at the front desk. Customers are hesitant to approach the area thinking they will be interrupting. Everyone ALWAYS has something to do!

 

Jim Ellis Automotive Group

WARNINGS!

  • Never get into an argument with a caller or visitor. Route them to a supervisor. However, if there is no one to take their call suggest leaving a voicemail. Sometimes there isn't a manager or supervisor present. There is only so much you can do as a receptionist.
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  • Never say "I don't do XYZ." You'll be out of a job faster than you get to Z.

 

Jim Ellis Automotive Group

Map of Atlanta

Jim Ellis Automotive Group

Corporate Departments for Vendor Requests

  • Human Resources
    • Director of Employee Communications
      • Brooke Gatlin, ext. 28116, 770.234.28116
  • Advertising (ask if it is digital or other)
    • Digital: Director of Digital Marketing
    • Other: Marketing and Advertising Coordinator
  • Facilities Manager (lighting, property maintenance, roofing, etc.)
    • Director of Facilities Management
      • Shawn Lance (have them leave a message with you and call Shawn with it or send an email to [email protected]
  • Landscaping or Plants
  • Credit Card Processing