Receptionist Responsibilities Training

Receptionist Responsibilities Training

Receptionist Responsibilities

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 of Jim Ellis to the client is PARAMOUNT.
  • Often with the technology of today we rely on telephone and email communication, and while that is also very important, nothing beats a face to face meeting. Very often the first face that a client will see is the receptionist, so it is of the utmost importance to remain professional and courteous. 

Receptionist Responsibilities

Organization is KEY!

With all the responsibilities that a receptionist must contend with, you need to be very organized. From answering calls and meeting clients to managing events and scheduling meetings. There are a lot of things to juggle, and keeping everything in order will ensure a well run company. 

Also, clients will pick up on the state of your work area, whether you are stressed or not, and how you and your coworkers communicate with each other. Ensuring proper organization will present to the client that the company is professional and a place where he or she would like to do business.

Receptionist Responsibilities

Required Skills and Knowledge

The piece of technology that you will be using the most is the Telephone, and nowadays it can be daunting with multiple lines, telephone directories, and not to mention the tendency of every phone manufacturer to do things a little different. Get To Know Our System! Ask questions, skim through the phone manual, whatever it takes!

Alternatively, there will be an expectation that you know how to use all the standard Office Programs. A firm grasp of email and word processing is essential. Also creating spreadsheets will be very helpful! Again, take the time to learn the programs you work with, especially the dealer specific ones that you may have less experience with.

Also, by mere location, you will be expected to use the scanner, copier, printer and fax machines etc. Since you will most likely be the one to use them the most, take the time to learn how to correct minor problems. Learn how the machines work, and help your coworkers if they are having a problem.

Receptionist Responsibilities


You are the face of the company to many clients, we want to present to the customer that we are available and punctual. Often in this industry we get one chance to recruit a new client, and if we don't pick up the phone or greet walk-in clients, they are likely to call or go to the next dealership. 

There is nothing more comforting to a boss than knowing there is always a person there to ensure that the Heart of the dealership is operating. In this way you become indispensable! 

Receptionist Responsibilities

Must be a great listener!

I'm sure everyone has played telephone where a message gets passed from person to person until the message is so wrong and funny at the end. The cause of this is not listening well. 

Being able to quickly and efficiently process what a customer is saying, resolving the issue, and/or directing him or her to the correct person to resolve their problem will show the client that we as a company care about the concern and are committed to resolving the issue.

Receptionist Responsibilities

Always Take Notes!

Keep a notepad and something to write with next to you. If someone calls, comes by or requests something from you, just jot down the information and names. Even the smartest people make mistakes, and remember things wrong. We have all had a time when someone called, things get busy and we go to remember that call from 4 or 5 hours ago, and it's just gone, or maybe you remember "I think it began with a 'B', and the phone number definitely had a few sixes and a four."

 Writing things down will ensure accuracy and efficiency.

Receptionist Responsibilities

Standard Greeting

Answer politely, “Good Morning, thank you for calling Jim Ellis (Dealership), my name is _________, how may I direct your call?.

  • Answer the phone as quickly as possible, preferably after the first or second ring. 
  • Try to keep Hold Times below one minute.
  • Ensure you get names correct. Repeat back and write down the names. 

Other standard phrases

  • One moment please for Mr/s. Smith.
  • I am sorry, Mr/s. Smith is on the phone at the moment. Would you like to wait on hold or leave him/her a voicemail?

Receptionist Responsibilities

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.

Receptionist Responsibilities

Treat everyone the same!

Whether it's a delivery person, a client, or the general manager treat everyone with the same respect, dignity and politeness that you would expect people to treat you.

It's amazing how often this golden rule is forgotten.

Receptionist Responsibilities

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”.

Receptionist Responsibilities

Challenging Clients

Sometimes clients can be challenging at best and down right disrespectful at worst. Make sure you don't sink to their level. Stay Calm. Remember your "How to deal with Difficult Customers" training. Always take the high road, and avoid confrontation. 

If a client refuses to come around and speak calmly and rationally, feel free to ask them to call back when they are prepared to discuss the issue.

Receptionist Responsibilities

Be Positive

Smiles are Contagious, Free, and Always Welcomed!

No one likes to deal with a gloomy, angry, frustrated, or lazy person. Show an interest in what the client is saying, and have a pleasant attitude!

You catch more flies with honey than you do vinegar.

Receptionist Responsibilities

Be prepared with a greeting

Be friendly to walk ins and welcome them when they walk in to see how you can help them. We want to give the client a friendly and welcoming environment. As the first face they see and voice they hear, we want them to want to be there.

  • "Hi Welcome to Jim Ellis, How can I be of assistance today?
  • “Hi! Welcome to Jim Ellis, I’ll be with you in just one moment.”

Receptionist Responsibilities

Dress to impress.

You represent Jim Ellis Dealerships, so dress the part! Invest in some business casual clothes (Not weekend wear). 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.

Receptionist Responsibilities


  • 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.

Receptionist Responsibilities

#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!

Receptionist Responsibilities


  • Never get into an argument with a caller or visitor. Route them to a supervisor. 
  • Sometimes there isn't a manager or supervisor present. There is only so much you can do.
  • Never say "I don't do XYZ." You'll be out of a job faster than you can get to Z.

Receptionist Responsibilities

Map of Atlanta

Receptionist Responsibilities

Corporate Departments for Vendor Requests

  • Director of Human Resources
  • Advertising (ask if it is digital or other)
    • Director of All Things Digital
    • Marketing and Advertising Coordinator
  • Facilities Manager (lighting, property maintenance, roofing, etc.)
    • Director of Facilities Management
      • Marshal Meacham (have them leave a message with you and call Marshal with it or send an email to [email protected]
  • Landscaping or Plants
  • Credit Card Processing

You receive a phone call from a customer requesting to be connected to another department or person at another dealership. You...

  • Transfer the the call to the receptionist at the other dealership.
  • Give the customer the phone number of the other dealership.
  • Transfer the call to the other department or person.
  • Hang up quickly..
  • Transfer the call to the same department in your dealership.

You receive a call from a customer who has gotten lost on their way to the dealership. You... (Place in the proper order)

  • Ask the Customer to pull over and stop.
  • Establish where the customer currently is.
  • Verify that the customer has the correct address.
  • Utilize your map to guide them.
  • Find someone you know in the dealership who is good at giving directions.

True or False

  • Your desk has become the gathering hole for people, it is your responsibility to advise those that don't have a purpose there to please clear the area in order for guests to feel the area is approachable to them.

You receive a phone call for Jimmy Ellis. You...

  • Transfer to Jimmy's Cell Phone.
  • Transfer to Jimmy's extention.
  • Transfer to Jimmy's assistant.
  • Panic

Your call is from a customer who is very upset. Match the Complaint to the Solution.

  • Your customer is cursing excessively...
    You advise you sincerely want to help and you will be more than happy to do so when he/she is willing to participate and hang up.
  • Your customer is demanding to speak to Jimmy Ellis...
    You transfer the call to his assistant.
  • Your customer is "ranting" with the story of the complaint...
    You listen carefully, making notes, acknowledging the customers feelings without accepting blame and transferring them to the person who can affect a change staying on the line until the parties are connected.