What do receptionists do? Most people assume their main job consists of:

While all that is true, it takes much more than that to be an exceptional front desk staff. Here are six key ways effective receptionists drive the growth of your service business.

1. Your Receptionist holds the Power of First Impressions

“Welcome back to Acme Studio. We’re excited to see you again! Who will you be seeing today?”

People don’t just come in for a haircut or a massage, they visit your business so that you can make them feel extra special. Your receptionist is first in line when it comes to making a great first impression on a customer.

Skilled receptionists truly personalize the check-in experience making customers feel appreciated. They greet customers warmly by name upon arrival. They track customer history and notes with booking software like Vagaro to:

  • Mention details about preferred services or classes.
  • Serve each client their favorite refreshment.
  • Say Happy Birthday.
  • Ask about family members.
Element5 Digital

2. Your Receptionist is your Upsell Hero

Thoughtful receptionists offer additional services at check-in that complement the appointment the customer is requesting. When your customers feel heard and understood you make more sales…

“I see that you’re coming in to see Krystal for a haircut and a blow-dry at 2pm. Our manicurist is free right after that. Would you like to have your nails done as well?”

They may also sell products used during the service, so customers can replicate salon results at home.

“This hair color really suits you. You look great! Did Krystal mention that we have a great shampoo that helps you keep that vibrant hue for a long time? Would you like to take a bottle home today?”

Seasoned receptionists drive gift card sales as well, sometimes with the help of a strategically placed gift card displays at the front desk. They’ll casually mention branded gift cards or offer customers digital gift certificates.

“Mother’s Day is in 3 days. Did you get all your shopping done? If not, we have some cute gift cards to help you out.”

Rune Enstad

3. Your Receptionist is your Rebooking Wizard

Not only do receptionists open the sale, they also close it! Trained staff make sure that they engage their customers during this last step, making sure that they happily accept getting booked for their next appointment.

“Susan, to maintain your style, we need to pencil you in for about 6 weeks’ time. Does coming in on a (day of the week and time of current appointment) work?”

4. Your Receptionist is your Referral Engine

As part of the checkout process, your front desk will often invite customers to bring their friends into your business. Word-of-mouth and referrals are extremely effective and will allow you to build revenue fast!

“So how did you enjoy your appointment today? In case you know someone that would benefit from this treatment, here are some discount vouchers that you can give to your friends. I have also included some product samples for you and for your friends.”

Ehimetalor Unuabona

5. Your Receptionist is your Queen of Speed

Your front desk ensures that customers get checked out swiftly. Efficient receptionists use business management software such as Vagaro to quickly apply discounts and process credit card and cash payments. The result: a smooth and hassle-free checkout process that gets customers out the door without delays.

6. Your Receptionist is your Jack of All Trades

Who runs payroll, orders supplies for your business and sends out those beautiful marketing emails? Your receptionist, that’s who! Now you know why she’s always so busy.

A fair warning: Admin work takes significant time away from the Front Desk’s main mission, which is to enhance the customer experience and to drive sales. That’s why many savvy businesses subscribe to Vagaro: to cut time spent on running payroll, managing inventory and running email marketing campaigns so they can get back to what they do best: customer management!

Have a conversation with your receptionist and find out what they spend most of their time on. The answers may surprise you and inspire some changes in the way you run your Front Desk!


Show your Appreciation on National Receptionist Day

Wednesday, May 9th is National Receptionist Day. Remember to thank your receptionists for the hard work that they do to support and grow your business. Chances are you couldn’t run your business without them! Here are a few ways to show them your appreciation:

  • Give them a paid day off or allow them to leave early
  • Celebrate with the entire office (think cake, streamers, balloons and confetti)
  • Take them out for lunch
  • Give them a bonus
  • Give them a thoughtful gift


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