When it comes to developing a relationship with your customers, first impressions are essential.
Your front desk is the first thing people interact with, so it must be a welcoming and positive experience. Body language, appearance, demeanour and expressions are all important things to consider.
People make decisions early on about you. 55% of all first impressions are influenced by visual cues and interactions. Because of this, customers should be treated with the utmost respect, greeted pleasantly with a smile and be provided as much information as possible when voicing inquiries.
Not only should people be spoken to with a professional attitude in person but also on the phone or through email. Whenever dealing directly with customers, confidence and professionalism is key to make a successful impression.
Here are 6 mannerisms to consider when projecting your ideal front desk first impression.
1. Open with a Friendly Greeting and Nice Smile
A simple “Good morning, what can I help you with today?” could help build the beginning of a good relationship with your customer. This swiftly puts the needs of the customer before the needs of yourself, making them feel important.
One of the most important things that anyone providing customer service can do to dramatically improve your interactions is smiling. Not only does it convey to the customer that you are happy to assist them, but it improves your own mood too.
Happiness spawns happiness. Even customers having a bad day will likely be more pleasant if you continuously reply with a friendly tone.
2. Eye Contact
It may sound cliché, but it’s important to maintain strong eye contact throughout your interactions.
Eye contact indicates to the customer that you are present, listening and focused on them. It helps build a connection with them. They feel valued as a result.
By not engaging in eye contact, the customer could assume you do not want to help them, or that you are unsure about their inquiry. This could cause the customer to feel a negative association with you and the company you work for.
Not only that but eye contact is a huge trust builder. Especially with medical practitioners, gaining trust is crucial in order for the customer to be comfortable. Eye contact ensures that, as a receptionist, you know what you are talking about and thus your organization also does. Safety and security are the keys to building happy relationships with your customers.
3. Pay Attention to the Customer
Never ignore the customer. They are your number one priority. Show to the customer that they have your full, willing and undivided attention throughout the entire interaction.
You can demonstrate this by simply asking for their name and using it throughout the conversation. You will not only make the customer feel like they have your full attention, but people will feel a significantly increased rapport by making the interaction personal to them.
4. Speak Slowly
This might be considered odd but could help you improve information being presented for those that may get nervous or just generally speak quickly.
Stumbling or pausing is natural for people to do but it can come across as unprofessional. When speaking quickly, it can hinder the comprehension of information for your visitors. Your information should be clearly presented and speaking slowly limits the amount of opportunities for you to stumble or pause awkwardly.
By minimizing the faults in your speech, you project a very strong sense of knowledge and charisma. You become more enjoyable to listen to as a result.
5. Personal Presentation
How you appear when working is how you are representing your business. Customers will identify the products and your business as respectable because you show respect towards them.
Depending on your establishment, you may have a uniform, or you may be free to choose your own attire. In the case of the latter, you should tailor the wardrobe to the company standards.
When dealing with documents or products, something that is overlooked is keeping nails well-groomed and professional. Your desk should reflect this as well. A messy desk can make the company feel disorganized and sloppy.
Outward appearance is not all of your personal presentation though. How you present your outward appearance affects you too. Confidence is often conveyed through posture. Straight but still relaxed posture exemplifies natural confidence and a pleasant appearance.
Fidgeting and/or constant movement adjustments can distract the customer and make you appear unsure of yourself. Minimizing this can help you seem more engaged or present in the conversation.
Customers will always favour doing business with someone who is pleasant and happy.
Your attitude is a reflection on the respect you have towards the establishment. Similarly, it affects how you approach your job and the people you interact with. A negative attitude pushes the customer away.
It’s important to maintain a positive atmosphere, even when feeling subpar, because people often copy others’ emotions. What you convey to the customer is what you will most likely receive.
There are always ways for you to improve the impression you present to customers. This should shed some light on some areas maybe that have been neglected or introduced you to new ideas.