Can a Receptionist Be Too Chatty?

Receptionists are supposed to be the friendly face of your company, but sometimes they can be a bit too friendly. At that point, they become harmful to your business, (and possibly, even, a liability). Here are three chatty receptionist scenarios that can be avoided by hiring a virtual receptionist instead. 

The receptionist that gives out too much information

Giving out too much information is a significant problem, especially for those working in medical offices or law firms.  Client confidentiality is crucial, and in the case of medical offices, it is the law. Although a receptionist should do everything possible to make a client feel welcomed, they shouldn’t do so at the expense of creating an uncomfortable situation.

Some examples include:

“Hi Ms. Jones, I heard your husband accepted the custody agreement.”

“Hi, are you here for the infection you called about?”

Even everyday businesses can be impacted by an overly chatty receptionist.  How would you feel if your handyman’s receptionist greeted you by saying:

“Hello Mr. Smith, is your toilet still overflowing?”

While these are friendly, none of these needed to be said where someone else could hear them.  Plus, depending on the type of business, the receptionist could risk violation of the HIPAA privacy rule, impact attorney client-privilege, or unnecessarily embarrass a customer.

The receptionist that chats with coworkers

If you have an office that doesn’t see a lot of traffic, it can be very boring for the person sitting at the front desk. In fact, it can be so boring that they cannot be convinced to stay seated. For many, receptionists, the idea of sitting and not talking is painful. So, they do what comes natural to them and communicate with co-workers.

While any office will appreciate an outgoing team player, you may start to notice customers do not. Chatty receptionists that are never at their desks are not a very welcoming site to walk-in visitors. They also are notorious for distracting coworkers, and spreading damaging office gossip. Additionally, your business may lose customers because of missed calls or missing front desk greeters.

The receptionist that talks more than they do listen

Sometimes the problem isn’t a receptionist that shares too much of your customer’s information, it’s one that shares too much of their own. Connecting with callers is a valuable skill, but a professional knows just how much information to share without making it about them.

The perfect receptionist is able to effortlessly blend listening with speaking. They not only help callers feel comfortable, but they also collect useful information like their name, phone number and message. When a receptionist is more focused on talking to a caller, rather than gathering information from a caller, they risk losing a potential opportunity for the company they are supporting.

The solution for chatty receptionists

The best receptionist is one thoroughly trained on client confidentiality, productivity and listening. When combined with Smith intelligence, these receptionists are able to greet callers without giving out private information, can quickly take your calls, and always know the right questions to ask.

Additionally, because your Smith agent is a virtual receptionist working in a secure, private location, you never have to worry about anyone overhearing the conversation.  You’ll know they are working because calls are logged and emailed daily for you to review, with the relevant information texted to you. Plus, you won’t have to worry about coworkers ‘keeping your receptionist entertained’.  

When your business depends on friendly, yet professional receptionist services, Smith.ai is the ideal choice.