Imagine walking into a company and finding no reception area to stay or worse, no receptionist to welcome you. Bad first impression? The long term consequences are potential lost of personal ties with clients and thus potential lost of future business. You see, the receptionist isn’t just your front reception person who accepts visitors and answers phone call, they’re much more than that. But not all small business can afford to have the added overhead of having a person to receive their clients. This is especially true for businesses without high traffic. What’s the solution?
One solution to is have certain employee multi-tasked. You can accomplish this by redefining some of your current employee’s job description. For instance, your customer service person could perform his or her existing task while sitting in the reception desk. A customer service person is well suited to greet your visitor. After all, they deal with customers all day long. If you have multiple customer service representatives, they could all participate by switching seats once or twice a week as a normal part of their job. This change in work environment could actually be a healthy practice. Most people in the work force are bore with their jobs anyway. A healthy mix of responsibility in their day to day activities can only help break their mundane routine.
A second possible solution involves laying out your office space like a ‘community’ space. Imagine having a group of your employees working on X6 or X10 workstations in a wide open space where your potential clients can walk right in and immediately feel the vibe of your work force hard at work. There would be one or two key receptionist like persons that happens to work toward the front entrance. They could formally or informally welcome your visitor and help direct them to the appropriate personnel. Such community space could be very effective for an open door culture of information sharing and quick face to face interaction.
Bottom line is, there really isn’t a need for a full time receptionist to be sitting in a modern contemporary front desk for small companies with limited foot traffic. The expense along is a great deterrent for most small businesses. Beside reduced overhead, a multi-tasked employee with an occasional reception desk responsibility could be a great breath of fresh air for those willing to break out of the same old routine. Add incentives like sporting event tickets for those that volunteer at least once a week to multi-task as a receptionist and the waiting list could quickly grow for the new job opportunity. And yes, the new job opportunity could be fun.