Several phone lines are ringing, lights on the phone are blinking, co-workers are asking questions, and here comes a customer or client. How does the person manning the front desk of an office or business handle several people simultaneously with professionalism and poise? This fast-paced course is specifically designed to answer this and other important questions for those who work as an organization’s first-impression representative at the front desk. In addition to learning the elements of effective verbal and visual communication, participants will find out how to expertly satisfy even the most demanding, difficult visitors without jeopardizing their health or safety.
At the program’s conclusion, participants should be able to:
- Describe the components of a professional image at the front desk.
- Understand that their workspace is an extension of themselves and should reflect a professional image as well.
- Manage telephone communication with clarity, accuracy, and courtesy.
- Improve verbal communication with those they meet face to face.
- Interpret the body language of others to determine how best to communicate with them.
- Minimize interruptions caused by visitors and co-workers in a tactful yet determined way.
- Implement strategies for dealing politely and successfully with discourteous, demanding, or dissatisfied visitors.
- Explain precautionary steps they should take in emergency situations that might compromise the safety of everyone in the workplace.
- Develop a personal action plan to improve both their image and their skills at the front desk.
The following outline highlights some of the course’s key learning points. As part of your training program, we will modify content as needed to meet your business objectives. Upon request, we will provide you with a copy of the participant materials prior to the session(s).
Best Foot Forward: Features of a Professional Image
In this introductory discussion, participants will discuss the components that make for a first-class impression. Using an array of visual examples, the facilitator will help participants discover both obvious and subtle signals front-desk employees give before saying a single word when encountering others. By examining the outward signs of those with a polished presence, they will have a better sense of steps they can take immediately to create a professional image for themselves and their organization.
One Step Back: What Will Ruin the Image
In this part of the workshop, participants will learn the behaviours and habits that can destroy not only their image but that of their organization. They will see how body language, mannerisms, appearance, and personal grooming considerations can enhance or destroy their credibility. Also, they will see the physical space they occupy at work is an important part of their image that should not be neglected. We will also discuss techniques and tools for clearing and organizing desk space, managing paper, and maintaining a professional environment.
Whose Line Is It Anyway? Taking and Making Calls like a Pro
As important as it is to project professionalism in person, it is just as important to do so over the telephone. In this seminar segment, participants will learn how to convey a positive image over the phone by using appropriate greetings that are warm and welcoming. They will find out ways to put callers on hold politely and learn alternatives to keeping them on hold indefinitely. The facilitator will also share strategies for taking messages quickly and accurately, transferring calls with ease and grace, and ending calls with overly talkative callers without appearing abrupt or rude.
Beyond Words: What the Body Says
Posture, arm placement, hand gestures, and facial features speak volumes even when people are silent. Being aware of their own body signals and knowing how to “read” those that others send will contribute to both improved personal image and better customer service. In this portion of the workshop, participants will complete their discussion of communication techniques by learning how to interpret body language in themselves and others.
Security Concerns: Staying Safe at the Front
The front desk is just that, the front. In this part of the program, we will explore the importance of being not only courteous but cautious too. During this segment, we will talk about security, surprises, and what to do if the unexpected should occur.
Grace under Pressure: Handling Difficult People with Diplomacy and Tact
The mark of true professionalism in front-desk representatives is their ability to deal effectively with problematic visitors without losing patience or dignity. Remaining professional with those who don’t return the courtesy requires special skill and remarkable self-control. At this point in the program, we will explore tactful, polite, and safe ways for handling visitors who have no appointments, those who are angry and impatient, those who hover and other characters that present a challenge.
By the conclusion of this interactive program, participants should have a better grasp of skills and behaviours they should exhibit to run a friendly, efficient, and safe front desk.
Who should attend?
Front Desk Staff, Receptionists, Chef Managers, Accountants, Auditors, Supervisors, Stores Managers and others who perform related functions.
The training methodology combines lectures, discussions, group exercises and illustrations. Participants will gain both theoretical and practical knowledge of the topics. The emphasis is on the practical application of the topics and as a result participant will go back to the workplace with both the ability and the confidence to apply the techniques learned to their duties.