A telephone receptionist (operator) is a person who is employed by a telephone answering service to answer the incoming telephone calls of multiple companies, who have forwarded their calls to an answering service, during busy times and outside of office hours.
What are the tasks performed?
This type of receptionist has only one task that they are required complete for each specific company that they answer for. This task is to answer incoming calls and relay information or take messages for the company.
Calls are answered following a specific script that has been pre-determined by the company to ensure that their customer service standards are being followed. The operator has access to company information, which ensures accuracy when providing information to a caller and forwarding calls. Using an answering service can provide the customer with the same standard of service that an on-site receptionist can at a fraction of the cost of hiring and training an on-site reception staff.
What skills are required?
It is very important that a telephone operator has excellent communication skills and great telephone manner. The majority of their day is spent on the phone, so it is essential that they are highly skilled in these areas. Another important skill is the ability to multi-task. A number of calls may be coming in at the same time and it is important that the telephone operator is able to make sure that all of these calls are handled properly, while still handling other tasks.
Telephone receptionists must also be focused on providing excellent customer service to all callers. A telephone operator is trusted to be the "voice" of a company and it is important that the company is professionally represented. .
Who uses them?
Telephone answering services are used by a large variety of companies for many different reasons. Smaller companies that do not have the resources to employ an in-house receptionist could use this service to handle all of their incoming calls. This saves the company the costs associated with employing a full-time receptionist and also adds a more personal touch rather than having callers leave messages with a machine.
Larger companies that already have a front-desk staff in place may use an answering service to answer their overflow or after hours calls. They may also use this system when their in-house receptionist is away from the phone or busy. This allows the staff to carry on with more important business without having to worry about missed calls or how their calls are being handled when they're unable to answer them.
Telephone receptionists make it so that companies never have to miss an important call or waste time on unimportant calls that they can do without.
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