For those familiar with psychology, you may have heard of the serial-position effect or primacy and recency effect. To sum it up, these ideas assert that people are more likely to remember the first and last items in a list of moments in an event better than anything in the middle. Often, someone's perception of an entire experience can be swayed by this.
How does this relate to your business? The interaction with your front desk is one of the most critical touch points with your clients because it starts and ends their visit.
We’ve put together a list of our top four best practices for front desk staff—read on to learn what we believe are keys for a stellar experience.
Front Desk Staff Should Align with Your Business Values
As with all your staff, your front desk staff should have strong knowledge of your business and represent your culture. However, while your other staff members may only have the basic understanding of your company’s rules and history, your front desk should be an encyclopedia of this knowledge. The front desk is on the front line for questions, complaints and often, inspections. By understanding the ins and outs of the business, your front desk can smooth over negative interactions and educate clients.
Customer Service is Critical
Entering a business for the first time is overwhelming for most clients. They don’t know the check-in process or where they are going, and most of the time, they don’t know anyone there. It is the front desk’s job to help make the client comfortable and alleviate challenges.
Welcome the client warmly—bonus points if the front desk can use their first name—but if not, your staff member should make an introduction.
Offer your guest something, whether it’s a drink, a locker or a tour. Your front desk should try to anticipate the client's needs before they do.
The initial front desk experience will set the expectations for all visits, so be sure that there is consistency across all interactions by practicing excellent customer service for returning guests as well.
While you might not always realize it, your front desk staff is an excellent resource for your company to drive sales. Some front desk staff members might feel uncomfortable with the idea of "selling" to the clients, and that's okay! Try the term “educating” instead of “selling.” They’re simply educating the clients on the business’s offerings. Encourage your staff member to use their knowledge of the client’s history to make educated suggestions. Some examples of these suggestions could be;
"How did you like the class you just took? This class is pretty similar; it would complement your goals.”
“What product have you been using? This is my personal favorite,” and if your business allows, “Can I get you a sample?”
Extensive Knowledge of Your Business Software
Finally, your front desk staff should be completely comfortable with the business management software used to run your business—it is the primary tool to support them in their job. If your front desk staff cannot quickly perform transactions and move the clients through the check-in process seamlessly, your other efforts are forgotten.
Your front desk should be able to quickly process requests, such as split payments or return purchases. They should be able to look up past visits and client information without hesitation. Beyond that, your front desk could be the person to assist with your digital marketing or your data analysis.
This probably sounds like it requires a lot of training and education and maybe you aren't sure how to do these things. With MINDBODY Certifications, you don't have to worry. We offer free, online training for staff at all MINDBODY customers that helps tackle all these scenarios. The software is always evolving, so these courses are as beneficial to seasoned-staff members as they are for beginners. We know there’s a lot to learn, let us help you through it.
We want your team to thrive and believe that these are the universal best practices for a successful front desk staff member. We challenge you and your team to implement some of these practices into your daily routine and let us know what makes the biggest impact with your front desk!