DUTIES AND QUALITIES OF A GOOD FRONT DESK OFFICER
In our previous post on Earn a Living as a Front Desk Officer, we discussed the role and the career path of a front Desk officer. We would quickly conclude the second part of that post here.
WHAT ARE THE DUTIES OF A FRONT DESK OFFICER?
The duties performed by front Desk Officers vary from one organization to another. However, the general duties performed by all FDOs are as follows:
- Welcome Visitors
- Handle Incoming Calls
- Directing Visitors to Departments
- Provide Clerical Support
The primary duty of a Front Desk Officer is to provide courtesy by greeting business’ visitors. When guests arrive, she warmly welcomes them and sometimes provide refreshments. So you will get to meet lots of people from different walks of life. We call that networking and if you perform your duty right, you could impress someone who would give you the opportunity to advance your career elsewhere. A cheerful and friendly disposition is your asset in this regard.
Handle Incoming Calls
The Front Desk Officer will be responsible for answering incoming calls, and directing calls to appropriate associates within the organization. Most businesses put their official telephone lines on their website. That telephone number is usually manned by the front desk officer so when customers and new prospects call, you will be the first to speak to the customer and provide answers to their inquiries. Courtesy, good diction, telephone etiquette and knowledge of your organization are the vital elements of this task. Most companies have their telephone handling policy, you will be taught that as part of your induction program.
Directing Visitors to Departments
The Front Desk officer also receives visitors and directs them to the appropriate department. So when a customer wants to find out about your products, you may have to direct them to the sales team and when bankers come calling you will show them the way to the accounts section. You are the signboard and the traffic manager.
Provide Clerical Support
She also provides general office support with a variety of clerical activities and related tasks like mail distribution, flow of correspondence, requisition of supplies as well as additional clerical duties. Physical mails and correspondence will still be brought to your organization. As the front desk officer, your job is to receive mails, sign off for acknowledgment and pass on the mails to the appropriate departments. One thing you must know is that a front desk officer shouldn’t seat on correspondence. Some mails are so vital and time sensitive that you need to pass them on immediately. A good example is a legal correspondence. Discretion, confidentiality and speed are your assets in this regards.
WHAT ARE THE QUALITIES OF A GOOD FRONT DESK OFFICER?
What qualities are employers looking for in a front desk officer? I have made passing remarks to some of them earlier, but I will give a list to make it stick:
- Neat and Professional Appearance
- Effective communication skills
- Computer literacy
- Calm and Composed while Multitasking
- Strength to Stay on Your Feet for Long Periods
- Organized and detail oriented
- Strong interpersonal skills
- Ability to Speak at Least Two Languages
Now let’s go over each of these qualities and see what we can learn.
Neat and Professional Appearance
Like I said earlier, the front desk officer is the first person guest meet as they enter the reception area or lobby. Being the face of the establishment, employers are looking for individuals who can dress neatly and comport themselves professionally.
Effective communication skills
These days, front desk officers now respond to email and handle live chat like chat bots for their organization. These and many other duties require the ability to effectively communicate in written or verbal form. If you’re after a front desk job, you need to show this skill in your résumé and during job interview.
If you check Proven ability job board, you will notice that almost every job posted requires computer skills. So as a front desk officer you need to learn basic computing and understand how to use the Microsoft office suite of software programs.
Calm and Composed while Multitasking
Multitasking and attending to an annoying guest? That’s what Front Desk officers do. Can you juggle answering the telephone with signing for parcels & mails and still listen to a guest who will not be patient for you to finish one thing before you attend to him? Calm and composed while under pressure; that’s the quality you are called to exhibit. Employers look for candidates who can do so without losing their calm.
Strength to Stay On Your Feet for Long Periods
You won’t be spending much time sitting down if you’re working as a front desk officer. Most of the time, you will be standing on your feet. So you need the strength, stamina and comfortable shoes to give your best each day.
Organized and detail oriented
Your job requires handling lots of papers and jotting down call details. You must be detailed and well organized so nothing gets missing or forgotten. Employers consider you sloppy if mails get missing or vital brochures are not passed on to the right people on time. So if you are prone to errors and forget things easily, you may have to work on that weakness so be a success at front desk office.
Strong interpersonal skills
It takes a team to run any organisation, and you might not always see eye to eye with everyone on your team. If you’re applying for a front desk position, you need to work on this trait if you are lacking. However if interpersonal skills is your strong point, make sure the employer knows that you are skilled at conversing with people and getting along with a variety of different people at the point of interview.
Ability to Speak At Least Two Languages
Employers in Nigeria want their front desk officers to be fluent in English language and also to speak a local language fluently. This is because, you’re likely to encounter visitors who cannot speak English and you may have to converse with them in a local language. The choice of local language depends on the area where the business is located. So if you’re proficient in more than one language, make sure you mention this on your résumé.
Do you want to develop Front Desk office skills or you know someone who does? Proven Ability provides the opportunity to learn such new skills so you can position yourself for new opportunities. The joy is that you can do that right from the comfort of your home via our Proven e-Course. So what are you waiting for? Enroll for our free e-Course today and start equipping yourself for a rewarding career.