What Makes A Good Receptionist?

Receptionists are among the most valuable team members in any organisation- without them, nothing would get done! Reception staff are a key part of all our out of hours services and are responsible for greeting patients and answering their initial queries. They act as the liaison between the staff and the public, setting up appointments and ensuring these are recorded. They are also responsible for answering incoming calls and email messages. As the friendly face of the clinic, their role is key in ensuring we can deliver our services.

A good receptionist has five key skills at their disposal- read on to find out how these skills are used.


Great communication

A receptionist’s job is essentially about connecting people. A good receptionist will know how to talk to anyone and work out what they need, so they can connect them to the right person or resources.

Receptionists need top notch verbal communication skills to greet visitors and answer phone calls, including active listening to find out how to help each visitor. They deal with people from all walks of life, so must be friendly, approachable and compassionate.



The receptionist is the first port of call for the public. They represent the clinic and as such, need to look and act professionally. Attention to grooming and dress standards are essential, as well as remaining polite, calm and helpful during interactions.

Good receptionists also show professionalism by being proactive – they don’t wait for problems to crop up, instead they take action to nip small hiccups in the bud before they bloom into bigger issues. Ignoring an issue will almost certainly ensure it comes back to bite, whereas heading problems off at the pass means less work for everyone later.



One of the most important parts of a receptionist’s role is staying organised, and keeping everyone else organised too. You’ll be called upon to find documents, retrieve contact information and remind people of appointments on an hourly basis. To stay on top of it, receptionists need a well-planned system that keeps all the information and equipment they need readily accessible.



A good receptionist can skilfully juggle multiple tasks at once, ensuring nothing is forgotten. In a busy waiting room, they will deal with the public face to face while answering calls and completing administrative tasks. Being able to keep track of everything and prioritize what to deal with first is key.

Equally essential is a good memory- if a task is interrupted halfway through by a phone call, they need to be able to pick up where they left off. A good receptionist makes sure their full attention is on whatever task they are currently working on, but is able to rapidly switch between tasks while staying calm and focused under pressure.


Technical capabilities

Receptionists need to have fluent computer literacy skills and be confident using printers, scanners and phone systems. A lot of time is spent entering data such as appointments into digital organisation systems, as well as writing up notes and documents, so great typing and word processing abilities are also useful.

With these five skills, a receptionist is an asset to any organisation. If you have these skills and think you’d like to be part of a great team focused on serving the community, we’d love to hear from you.