Getting good reception

Reception area at Premier Inn, Heathley Park, Leicester
Reception area at Premier Inn, Heathley Park, Leicester

It was a good day because we had a good reception.

It was a day in which we went from one organisation to another and were well received. Starting with the Premier Inn with staging posts at solicitors, Waitrose, funeral directors (Adkinsons), the local church (Oadby), The Curry House and Tesco Express (above Conduit Street, Leicester) we got the sort of reception that we wanted and which helped to turn what could have been a difficult day into an occasion of thanksgiving.

The person who meets our enquiry is crucial to reception. This is the person who meets us at the door. I suggest that each organisation considers the strategic importance of the person “on the door” and the “welcome on the mat” and that there is an underlying question for them to bear in mind. That question is “what sort of reception am I giving?”

Many organisations are able to set aside a dedicated physical space for Reception. But the question of what sort of reception am I giving makes me realise that my own personal organisation (ie ME) needs to give some thought to the development of space in which others may find good reception.

I suggest five rules of engagement:

  1. Provide a cheerful reception – that makes us pleased to move into the space
  2. Avoid confusion – we are often confused when we move into a space that is not ours. Whether it is by email, phone or in person I need to know where I am and who I am dealing with. A good receptionist will put my mind at rest. When I make a phone call, I will be greeted (cheerfully), reassured I have rung the right place and told who I am speaking to. It can be done (and should be done) economically and efficiently.  For example, a typically good reception would be “Good morning. This is [name of organisation]. My name is David. How can I help you?”
  3. Acknowledge and appreciate – whether I am engaging for quick enquiry or whether I am spending longer, for example, a meal, for that moment I am expecting to be acknowledged and appreciated. We normally call this “service” but it really is about reception and respect. I need acknowledging whether I present myself via email, phone call or physically
  4. Offer to help – it is such a relief to be unburdened whether the burden is a deep sadness or a basket of shopping.
  5. Never ever ever EVER give the impression of being too busy to help – that speaks for itself.

Have you got other suggestions borne from experience of getting good reception (or bad)?

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