Some people consider the receptionist to be the most important staff member, or at least the most significant in determining how smoothly, effectively, and successfully an office runs. There’s even a holiday set aside for appreciating and honoring receptionists. But what makes a skilled and personable receptionist so essential? Read on to find out what traits a good receptionist should have, what to look for in a receptionist, and why they are so vital to the success of your office or medical practice.
Your Office’s First Impression
When considering what to look for in a receptionist, one must think about representation. Every member of your staff is a brand representative for your medical practice, whose behavior and appearance reflect on the entire practice. As your receptionist is generally the first face that patients see when they walk into your office and is the first point of contact when patients call, it is of the utmost importance that they make a great first impression. Your receptionist should have a professional appearance that makes him or her seem approachable and friendly. They should greet patients as soon as they walk through the door and interact with them in a polite, helpful, and friendly manner. A good receptionist should also have the knowledge to be able to answer patient’s questions. Most importantly, all of these things should be true at all times. Even during busy times or bad days, it is the receptionist’s job to project an air of helpfulness and positivity to all patients, both in person and over the phone.
As the primary point of contact for the office, communication makes up a huge portion of a receptionist’s job. Your receptionist will need to facilitate communication between members of your medical practice’s staff, as well as between the office and its patients, payors, and vendors. The information that your receptionist provides will rarely be questioned, so accuracy is essential to prevent complicated and damaging mix ups. Your receptionist should be able to keep their cool under fire, communicating calmly and effectively, even when faced with a difficult patient or a tricky problem with a vendor. They should be able to manage a ringing phone, rapidly filling inbox, and growing line at her desk in a way that handles all inquiries as quickly as possible, while still making sure that every patient feels valued and every issue is resolved smoothly. Patients should never feel rushed by your receptionist, who should instead be a careful and conscientious listener. Your receptionist should also carefully maintain a calendar for the office and send out reminders before any important events, as well as be able to clearly distribute information to office staff and patients.
“Jack-of-All Trades” Capability
Because your receptionist works with everyone in your practice to facilitate communication and coordinate tasks, he or she needs to know everything that’s going on in your office and what everyone’s job is. This makes your receptionist a vital resource for team members who need information or support from another part of the team. This generalized knowledge and wide range of skills also makes your receptionist a valuable extra set of hands when you are short staffed or simply have an office to do list that has gotten a little too lengthy. Your receptionist can help plan upcoming events, manage the creation and distribution of promotional materials, handle mailing, restock storage areas, straighten up untidy spaces, and contact patients, payers, and vendors. A particularly experienced receptionist may even be able to assist more senior employees in their work. This jack-of-all trades mentality is what to look for in a receptionist.
Your receptionist’s wide range of skills and abilities also makes them resourceful and flexible, ideal traits for problem solving. Your receptionist is often the first person in your office to encounter a tricky problem, whether it’s a problem with a vendor or an irate patient. A good receptionist is able to think quickly and creatively to resolve the issue in a way that keeps your practice running as smoothly as possible and makes both your patients and your staff confident and comfortable. In some situations, you may not even realize that a problem occurred in the first place!
Get More Help for Your Office
What to look for in a receptionist and understanding why they are so important can be very professionally enlightening. An excellent receptionist is key to running a successful and effective office or medical practice, but even the world’s best receptionist can’t help with every possible issue, like moving or expanding your medical office. That’s where Boulevard Medical Properties comes in. Boulevard LA is a Los Angeles based medical property specialist that can help your practice through the entire moving process, from finding a property to moving in. We can even help you develop an eco-friendly medical practice. Whether you are interested in expanding your practice into an additional location or want to move into a new space entirely, Boulevard LA has the experience and skilled staff to help, so contact our office today.