Receptionist Training 101

A needs analysis was conducted after receiving customer complaints regarding the receptionists losing documents and missing appointments. The analysis lasted two weeks and included interviews among receptionists, managers, and insurance sales associates and also observations of how the receptionists interacted on the phone. Example questions from interviews were “have you held a receptionist position before?” “What are your thoughts about using Google calendar to schedule appointments?”. Based on the data from the needs analysis, the receptionists were new employees and did not have previous experience working at a front desk. They also stated they did not feel confident in their ability to handle some customer questions or associate requests. Some receptionists were unfamiliar with using Google Calendar to schedule appointments and found the site confusing. From this data, we formed this new online training module that also includes a PDF downloadable document for different learner styles.

Training Objectives:

  1. Properly complete administrative tasks and duties

  2. Operate proper phone etiquette

  3. Demonstrate excellent service with our customers 

Focus of the Training Modules:

  1. Module based on a mapping of the admin tasks

    1. The documents we will focus on: paperwork, ordering supplies, and creating appointments.

  2. Phone scenarios as well as expected responses

    1. Phone skit to abide by

    2. Phone directory mapping 

3.   Customer Service training

  1. simulation of handling upset customers
  2. interactive practice 
  3. Then the learner will test their knowledge

Module 1: Daily Receptionist Tasks

The Receptionist Tasks Overview

Hello new hire or trainee! Welcome to receptionist desk overview training! We will be learning many different tasks and responsibilities today. We hope you enjoy your training today.

A Receptionist

The receptionist, and the receptionist desk, is the very first face that our associates and customers see. Therefore, it is highly important that the receptionist stay organized and on top of everything. It is important to stay organized and on top of everything so that the receptionist can perform customer and associate tasks without any issues.

Creating Appointments


Appointments are important for a business to ensure each customer is receiving thorough care and attention.

Filing Paperwork

Paperwork handling is a specified process at Alfheim that needs to be taken with the upmost precautions. Paperwork can relate to customer information or insurance paperwork. Both of these documents are sensitive information.

Office Ordering

Office supplies need to stay available and in abundance in order to have the office functioning at optimum performance.

Now we will test your skills on how to create appointments using our Google Calendar.

Creating Appointments

Creating Appointments

Here at Alfheim, we use Google Calendar to maintain appointments. Appointments can result in great service or horrible service, and we want to make sure that we offer great service! Below is your training to familiarize yourself with our scheduling unit.

Google Calendar

This calendar is user friendly and accessible. Compared to other calendar systems, this one can be easily managed and will not allow much overlapping so that you do not make mistakes in scheduling.


Appointment Details

When you double click on an appointment slot, this menu will automatically appear for the user to make the proper edits to the appointment.

Now lets practice!

Click on the appointment slot below. 

Now that you have selected an appointment time and day, click on the appointment to change the time.


Great Job!

Now you know how to create an appointment!

This task is very important to stay organized in order to prevent confusion among customers and associates. 

Now that you know how to create an appointment in our scheduling system, we can move onto the proper techniques of filing paperwork.

Filing Paperwork

Customer Information

This information is the most sensitive information that you will encounter. It is the customers full information such as; address, social security number, and life status(credit). These documents are to be scanned and saved in our secured drive online. The physical documents are to be filed in our locked filing cabinet and held for 7 years.  

Mail Distribution

Mail is sensitive information as well. Not all of the mail sent to our office is meant for that company branch. It is the receptionists duty to determine if the mail is relevant to our branch or if it needs to be forwarded to another area of our company. You will need to open each piece of mail in order to determine these properties.

Insurance Documentation

Insurance documentation is to be filed in our online secured drive with the customer information. The physical document is to be filed in our locked insurance cabinet alphabetically and we hold those physical documents for 5 years.

Disposing of Old Documents

As mentioned above, the sensitive documentation must be sorted and gone through at the end of each consecutive year. When the receptionist finds documentation that has expired to its 5 or 7 year term, we place the document in our locked shredding box. This locked shredding box is then brought to a contracted company that shreds and disposes of sensitive documents and information. It is also your job as a receptionist to contact the company for a scheduled time to pick up the locked shredding box.

Now that we have discovered the importance of filing paperwork correctly and efficiently, we will move onto how to order office supplies.

Receptionist Paperwork

As a receptionist, the associate will be handling documentation every day. Most of these documents will have extremely sensitive information, so it is important to take the proper steps with each piece of information. Maintaining confidentiality is also top priority. 

Below is a matching activity to test how well you can spot the difference with documentation just from using your intuition. 

Good Luck!

  • Customer Information
    Scan and save in protected file drive. Then file physical documents in the proper locked filing cabinet. (Keep physical documents for 7 years)
  • Mail Distribution
    Sort by topic. Forward documentations to the correct recipients.
  • Insurance Documentation
    Scan and save within the claims folder in the online protected drive. Then file the physical documentation in the proper locked filing cabinet. (Keep physical documents for 5 years)

Ordering Office Supplies

Office Supplies

Ordering office supplies is a fairly simple task that a receptionist can have. Companies usually have an agreement, or an account, with an office supply distribution center that delivers orders of office supplies. With Alfheim, we order all our supplies through Office Depot. 

  • Log on to Office Depot using company account
  • Search and select the needed items in a bulk option
  • Proceed to the check out screen
  • Submit the order
  • Save the receipt to hold onto tracking number and records

Conclusion of Module 1

Congratulations!

You have successfully learned how to organize and properly perform receptionist paperwork handling.

Now we will move onto Module Two where we will learn how to talk on the phone to customers and associates.

Module 2: Phone Scenarios

Phone Language Overview

The Importance of a Phone Call 

Phone calls happen every day, at any given time. A receptionist is in charge of answering and redirecting, if needed, to the right person. In this module, we are going explain and practice how to talk to our phone customers. Let's start by going over three different kinds of phone customers.

Customers

Customers are our top priority when it comes to phone calls. They expect happy, helpful, and knowledgeable service from our receptionist. So it is very important to know who is who in our company in order to deliver proper service.

Associates

Associates can call the receptionist for any given request. The receptionist can also call, or forward, any given situation to associates. So in order to coordinate accordingly the receptionist must understand the best way to contact and address associates.

Company Related

Company related calls include various tasks. These tasks include notices, updating offers, systems, customer care, and many other requests. It is imperative that the receptionist can handle or coordinate the calls accordingly.

Who is the most important phone customers?

Knowing The Difference Between Phone Customers

Some phone calls can be similar to one another and may be difficult to tell who is a customer and a non-customer. So, as we proceed to our next section, be thinking of ways to differentiate who is a customer and who is not.

  • Associates of Alfheim
  • Customers of Alfeim
  • Company Related
  • None of the above

Telling the Difference

Customer Questions

Customers are easy to distinguish if the receptionist is listening for the right signs.

1) They want to schedule an appointment with an associate.

2) They are confused about a policy or procedure.

3) They are simply needing more information on something.

4) They ask how they can complete something.

Other 

The other phone calls a receptionist receives may be the more frustrating situation because in order to find a solution for the caller, we need to ask numerous questions. Keep in mind, that we are here to help callers and direct them to proper destinations. Always maintain composure when dealing with difficult callers. 

Generally, associates will be straight forward and ask exactly what they need.

Recognition Practice: Determine what is Customer related and what is Not.

Scenario Decisions

There are going to be times that you as the receptionist will not know who you are talking to, and that is why we have a phone script to follow in the next module, in order to provide the best costumer service that we can.

Identify which statements are from customers by marking TRUE and statements from non-customers as FALSE.

  • "I need to review my account, but I have forgotten my password. Can you please reset it for me?"
  • "I am calling in regards of offering your company an updated check system."
  • "I am contacting you to collect a payment on a tax notice."
  • "I would like to schedule an appointment."
  • "This is a notification of renewal on building leases."

Phone Script

Hello! Thank You for Calling Alfheim Insurance, My Name is _____ How May I Assist You?

This will always be your opening phone answering phrase, no matter if you recognize the number or not. The next section is tone and wording when it comes to assisting people.

Customer

"Yes, I can assist you with that."

"Would you be interested in...."

"Are there any other areas that I can assist you with today?"

"How did you come into affiliation with our company?"

"Thank you for calling Alfheim Insurance, and have a wonderful day."

Other

"Yes, I can direct your call, please hold for one moment while I complete this task."

"Yes they are here today, but let me make sure that they are available at this moment to take calls."


Complete the Phone Script

The Golden Rule

The golden rule with answering the phone is to just be kind. When the receptionist answers the phone they should offer the help that they would expect if they were the customer.

"Yes, I can you with that."

Correct responses to a Customers

Select all the correct statements addressing customer requests. 

  • "Thank you for calling Alfheim. The policy you are concerned about..."
  • "I do not know the answer, and can't help you."
  • "We have these appointment slots available. Which days are you available?"
  • "Is there anything else I am able to help you with today?"
  • "I'm about to go to lunch, so I don't want to answer this question right now."

Module 3: Interactive Customer Service

Mischief happens...

It is very tempting to fight back when a customer is being difficult, and seems like fighting fire with fire is the only solution. In reality, you know you cannot fight with the customer. A customer may be rude and hard to handle but stooping to their level has repercussions from upper level management for doing so.

Meet Sarah

This is Sarah Smith. She is the new receptionist at Alfheim. Sarah is very excited to start her new job.

Customer Service Techniques

To be prepared for customer support challenges, Sarah should learn the right techniques to overcome any possible problems. Here are techniques Sarah needs to defuse the outraged customer.

  • Admit mistakes: calm down the customer by admitting the mistake, whether you made it personally or the company you represent made it.
  • Allow venting: allow the customer to let off steam uninterrupted. The customer will eventually calm down on his or her own.
  • Empathy statements: are the primary response to any situation where the customer is upset or angry. The idea is to prove to the customer that you understand his or her emotional state.
  • Not taking the bait technique means not responding to insults or abusive comments made by a customer. Maintain positive attitude and composure!
  • Preemptive strike means anticipating a problem a customer might face and acknowledging it before the customer brings it up.
  • Provide explanations: give clear explanations to the customer.
  • Refocus technique is used to bring a conversation with an angry customer to the original issue or topic [Extracted from: Perfect Phrases for Customer Service by Robert Bacal].

Handling insulting customers

It's Sarah's second day at the office, and she has a stressful call from a upset customer. She is frustrated and ready for help.  Sarah realizes her career could depend on the outcome of this conversation.

Choose the defusing techniques used by Sarah

  • Allow venting
  • Empathy statements
  • Provide explanations
  • Not taking the bait
  • Admit mistakes
  • Refocus
  • Preemptive strike

Wrap-up

Sarah is tired and ready for the day to be over, but with your help she was able to successfully deal with her first upset customer.

Evaluation

Where does the receptionist click on in "Google Calendar" to schedule an appointment?

  • Month
  • Day
  • Appointment time slot
  • My calendars

Must the Receptionist save the receipt when ordering supplies?

  • Yes
  • No

What is the Phone script for Receptionist?

  • Hello! Thank you for calling Alfheim Insurance, My name is ____ How may I assist you?
  • Hello
  • Hi, How may I help you?
  • Thank for calling Alfheim insurance, How can I help you?

What are the three different kinds of phone customers?

  • Customers, Associates, Company Related
  • Customers, Personal, Managers
  • Managers, Associates, Friends
  • Friends, Company, Ceo

Please complete following survey.

Congratulations, You have reached the final part of the training!

In 30 words or less please tell us of your overall experience when completing this training?

Please complete the following feedback question, it will not affect the results of your training so please be as honest as possible. Your answer will help us better our training programs and company!

Please answer evaluation question as honest as possible by selecting true or false depending on your opinion. Again this will not affect your results.

  • This training was easy to follow.
  • I would take this training again.
  • I feel like I will apply what i learned in this training to my actual job.
  • I feel like this training was engaging.

YOUR'E DONE!

You are finished 

Thank you for taking the time to complete our training. We hope that from our training you will be more comfortable in your new or current role in our company!