Even though a receptionist's job may appear simple, new receptionists may still find some amount of front desk receptionist training necessary in order to perform up to par. Many tasks may well be easy to accomplish, but some—especially receptionist tasks peculiar to certain industries—may indeed require special training.
Receptionists are required to possess a wide range of competencies. All receptionists serve as their office's first line of contact with visitors and must also function as a communications hub. As such, they are charged with such basic responsibilities as answering telephones, meeting office visitors and addressing their concerns, receiving and relaying messages and so on. However, depending on the office and/or industry they serve, they may also be required to perform more difficult tasks, such as assisting in bookkeeping and record keeping. Others, especially those working in clinics or doctors' offices, may be required to have at least some knowledge of medicine and medical procedures.
Regular Training Programs
Regular front desk receptionist training programs aim to build candidates' basic competencies. Many third parties organize training seminars for front desk receptionists. These seminars provide participants with the rudiments of professionalism and good customer service. More specifically, they teach participants how to properly answer telephones and make calls, how to deal with angry visitors or callers, and other such basic skills. Many of these seminars can take only half a day to complete.
Special Training Programs
In accordance with the special responsibilities given to receptionists in certain industries, would-be receptionists can benefit from special training programs. Many of these programs confer degrees, such as the associate of applied science medical receptionist degree available from Peninsula College in Washington. This and other similar programs aim to provide students with the skills to help them perform duties particular to receptionists in their field. For example, said degree teaches students how to complete medical coding, medical transcription and other such medical administrative duties that may be required of medical receptionists.
Certification is not usually required of would-be front desk receptionists who apply at companies and/or in industries that do not require special training. However, having undergone special receptionist training can prove a plus for applicants—especially if they are competing with many other applicants for the job. In industries that require their receptionists to possess special skills, such as the medical industry, certification (in the form of a degree, education records, grades and so on) showing that the applicant has taken and passed specific courses may prove no less than a prerequisite for those vying for a receptionist slot.
In order to adequately prepare their receptionists for their jobs, many companies may elect to have them undergo front desk receptionist training at the outset. They can either have their new receptionists undergo short programs before beginning work per se, or they can have them begin work immediately while taking up training programs on the side. The company may offer such programs itself or outsource them to a third party. In addition, many companies may also elect to provide their receptionists with occasional or ongoing training for the duration of their tenure.
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