Receptionist Too Busy? Doing Too Much?

Receptionists have always been dumped on and expected to do all the busy work that other departments can’t or won’t do. The receptionist is the go-to person for anything that another person in your operation can’t get done. It’s always been that way; sadly it hasn’t changed.

What happens when the phone rings? What happens to that precious lead? How does the call get handled? Does the caller schedule an appointment? Or is the call lost because the receptionist or intake specialist is too busy doing all the other tasks that you require him or her to do?

If you want to keep giving your receptionist or intake specialist all kinds of tasks to do, like answering the phone, handling intakes, making call backs, replying to email and taking care of the laundry, then you’ll continue to hemorrhage while turning away prospects and losing current clients, patients or customers–and getting no referrals.



Take a look at your current operation. If you determine that you don’t have enough team members to handle your call volume, here are my expert recommendations in this order:

1. Hire more sales experts to handle the incoming leads.
2. Create your own internal on-site call center, even if you’re only starting with a few people.
3. All prospect calls get directed to this team.
4. They are the closers. It’s their job to close as many appointments as possible.
5. Give them a sales goal and hold them accountable for it.
6. Record the calls (check laws for recording calls in your state).
7. Listen to the recordings.
8. Share the recordings with your team.
9. Give healthy constructive criticism (no abuse, yelling, swearing, throwing things) after the
team, especially the person whose call you’re listening to, critiques the call.
10. Offer criticism with love: “Mary, here’s what worked on your call. It was incredible. Keep doing it. Here’s what needs to be fixed; here’s why it needs to be fixed, and here’s how to do it.”

And here’s a bonus recommendation: Give your intake specialist the time and space to make sure “every call is gold,” like this client describes in her WIL (What I Learned):

Today I learned a new, helpful way to stay focused while on a call and to improve my ability to care for clients. Chris told me to do everything I can to imagine and visualize the caller I’m speaking to as well as try to empathize with their experiences. Humanizing the person on the other end of the phone will be another way to make sure every call is gold, and I’m excited to see how I improve with this technique.


Check out Chris’ new guest speaking appearance with Adam Hommey of Business Creators’ Radio Show!!!