The title receptionist is attributed to the person who is employed by an organization to receive or greet any visitors, patients, or clients and answer telephone calls. In the hotel, a front desk is an administrative department where receptionist’s duties may include room reservations and assignment, guest registration, cashier work, credit checks, key control as well as mail and message service.
A receptionist is often the first business contact a person will meet at any organization. It is an expectation of most organizations that the receptionist maintains a calm, courteous and professional demeanor at all times, regardless of the visitor’s behavior.
Personal qualities that a receptionist is expected to possess in order to do the job successfully include attentiveness, a well-groomed appearance, initiative, loyalty, maturity, respect for confidentiality and discretion, a positive attitude and dependability.
The business duties of a receptionist may include answering visitors’ inquiries about a company and its products or services, directing visitors to their destinations, sorting and handing out mail, answering incoming calls on multi-line telephones or, earlier in the 20th century, a switchboard, setting appointments, filing, records keeping, keyboarding/data entry and performing a variety of other office tasks, such as faxing or emailing. Some receptionists may also perform bookkeeping or cashiering duties. Some, but not all, offices may expect the receptionist to serve coffee or tea to guests, and to keep the lobby area tidy. A receptionist may also assume some security guard access control functions for an organization by verifying employee identification, issuing visitor passes, and observing and reporting any unusual or suspicious persons or activities.