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Receptionist Duties, Responsibilities and Salary

Updated on Jan 08, 2020 6352 views
Receptionist Duties, Responsibilities and Salary

Are you thinking about taking a job as a receptionist? 


Do you know that the average salary of a receptionist in South Africa is R86,904?


Being a receptionist goes beyond sitting at a front desk, answering and forwarding calls, answering queries from customers to your company, and smiling when visitors arrive. 


As the first point of contact visitors have with your company, your job is a crucial one and often times, you have to do things like direct customer’s emotions towards your company’s services and have to make sure the company runs smoothly with interactions from the outside.


In case you have been misinformed about this role, or don’t know what is expected of you as a receptionist, read this article before you take that job.


Understanding The Role Of A Receptionist

In this article we will be discussing:

  • Who is a Receptionist?

  • What does a receptionist do?

  • Qualities of a good receptionist

  • Skills required to be a receptionist

  • Receptionist duties

  • Receptionist resume sample

  • Receptionist jobs


Who Is A Receptionist?

A receptionist is a person who takes on the administrative support role in a company. They usually assist with office duties like answering calls, directing and attending to visitors, giving information to the general public and customers.


Referred to as “the face of a company”, receptionists are the first point of contact outsiders have with a company. It is their duties to make visitors feel relaxed and comfortable and to also ensure that they are well attended to.


What Does A Receptionist Do?


A receptionist:

  • Contributes to a company’s security, by monitoring visitors’ behaviours

  • Keeps track of employee movement and attendance in the company

  • Gather and disseminate information 

  • Manages appointment calendars

  • Answers queries and addresses customers’ questions and complaints


Note: A receptionist can perform a number of different duties in terms of administrative assistance and isn’t just restricted to performing stereotypical duties usually associated with this role.


What Are The Qualities Of A  Good Receptionist:

A receptionist role is a vital one in a company. When employers want to hire someone for the role of a receptionist, they are likely to look for someone who possesses the following qualities:


1. Effective Communication

A good receptionist must know how to communicate whether over the phone or in person. You need to know how to speak to a client or a visitor in a way that they’ll understand you without difficulties. 


You should know how to handle basic customer service, and know which of your colleagues to transfer a customer or visitor to. In addition, you need to be a good listener.


2. Professional Attitude

You are the first person a visitor sees when they walk into your company building. And when they do, they need to get the feeling that they just walked into a serious company that knows its business well.  On that note, you always have to keep it professional.


Be poised, graceful, dress well and use professional terms in proper English as well. Your whole appearance should speak professionalism.


3. Confidence And Assertiveness

Good communication is necessary for this line of work, so be sure to always bring your ‘A’ game when it comes to interpersonal skills. 


Don’t just know how to speak well or listen good, but also learn how to put people at ease, know how to collaborate with your colleagues and superiors, and maintain a good rapport with everyone.


4. Organized

Just because you are someone people come to for information, you need to keep every piece of intel you have within reach and make sure to maintain a tidy work area.


This is necessary to help you find things like customer phone numbers and files, easier and faster. Try to implement a filing system.


5. Technical Know-How

In this present age, you need to know how to work a computer well and be able to use basic software like Excel, Word and other desktop publishing and industry-specific software like Booker, MINDBODY, and Envoy as well.


Top Skills Required To Be A Great Receptionist:

Possessing certain qualities are an A plus when it comes to becoming a Receptionist. However, just like with every other job industry, you do need some specific skills to get ahead in this industry as well.


Here is a list of skills required to be a Receptionist, which you can include in your resume too:


1. Communication Skills

In order to be a good communicator as a Receptionist, enhance your verbal and written communication skills and work on your listening skills.


2. Interpersonal Skills

A receptionist should possess likability and friendliness skills. You should be able to handle the affairs of the company in a way that is beneficial and healthy for both you and the company. 


Also, maintain a good relationship with all the employees, superiors, and clients of the company.


3. Dependability Skills

No employer wants to hire or work someone who isn’t dependable or can’t be relied on. A Receptionist should be as steady as a rock and should be someone who could be trusted to deliver effectively, efficiently and timely on tasks given to them.


When an agitated client or customer walks in, they should be able to trust that whatever you tell them is the truth, and they should also be reassured that you can provide solutions for their problems. In your resume, make known your track record of being dependable.


4. Problem-Solving Skills

While at the front desk, you’ll meet a lot of people who come into the company angry or having some sort of problem with your services. It is your duty to diffuse the conflict and calm down the angry customer, even before they meet with the person who should be in charge of the situation.


Additionally, you need to be able to take initiative. Highlight in your resume the times you took initiative with planning an event, controlling cost, seeing a task to completion or even to solve a problem no one noticed. 


5. Multitasking Skills

We are not asking you to be “scatter-brained or go blank”, but as a Receptionist, you need to be able to juggle more than one tasks at once. 


Not just to do it haphazardly so that you could meet up with time, but do it in a way that both tasks are done meticulously, and still get the same level of attention.


6. Prioritizing Skills

You could be always asked to do a number of things at once and may find yourself drowning in work. Instead of getting worked up, what you need to do is use your prioritization skills to sort each task by the level of importance and urgency.


Handle the pressing ones with a close deadline first, then do the other ones later.


7. Organizational Skills

A receptionist should be organized, this is both a quality you should possess and a skill you need to cultivate. If you do find yourself struggling with organization, then perhaps you should try certain organizational apps like Wunderlist, Calendly, CamCard, Time Timer, LastPass, etc.


8. Technical Skills

This is another quality and skill you should possess. Your Receptionist resume should reflect that you understand how to use certain technology like phone systems, copiers, fax machine, computer, printer, etc.


It should also show that you can use software like Excel, Word, and other software that is prominent in your industry.


Note: Don’t just include these skills in your resume, back them up with evidence that you actually possess them.


Receptionist Duties and Responsibilities:

  • Answer, screen, and forward phone calls

  • Address customer complaints and questions about the company’s services

  • Greet walk-in customers and visitors, and lead them to their specific destinations

  • Receive packages delivered for the company or an employee

  • Sign out conference rooms to employees for meetings

  • Collect, sort, and prepare letters, documents, or packages for distribution

  • Process and prepare documents for trips

  • Organize items for parties and retreats

  • Filing and organizing documents like emails and other administrative records

  • Ensure that the reception and office environs are cleaned appropriately

  • Promote the company’s services in some cases

  • Receive payments and issue receipts

  • Maintain and update a contact list of clients and customers

  • Provides administrative support to other departments if need be

  • Make sure that the office is closed or opened at the right time


When you have been hired as a Receptionist, you’ll be required to perform these duties.


Receptionist Resume Sample:

If you are applying for a job as a Receptionist and don’t know how to write your resume to suit the job, you can follow the example of the one above or head on to our site to get help with writing your CV or Resume.


Receptionist Jobs

There are tons of places where you can search for a Receptionist Job? Check out the current vacancies for receptionist on our site.


Now that you have learned all you need to know about being a Receptionist, you can confidently take that job offer. 




For more articles on getting a job, read: How To Get Your Dream Job In South Africa 

Staff Writer

This article was written and edited by a staff writer.

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