Is Your Reception Repelling?

I have my eyes checked every year to ensure I have maximum acuity for driving. I’ve been seeing Dr. Voss for years. During my last appointment I asked the receptionist, “You’ve been here a long time now, haven’t you?”

“Yes,” she responded, “it’s not for the money.” Now, what do you make of that? It didn’t leave me with a positive perception of the the business and the doctors she worked for. I’ve mulled over her response many times…probably not what they want me to be thinking about!

For one of my Toronto clients, when I call the switchboard and ask to be transferred, the answer is always “yup”. Not the most professional response.

By contrast, while on vacation my kids noticed that front desk personnel did their best to call us by name as we came and went. They were impressed. So was I!

While you may be doing a great job of delivering fantastic service, your receptionist could be killing your business before it even begins. Studies reveal that it takes an average of seven positive comments to balance the impact of just one negative. How many negatives do you have to counteract once the client reaches you? When was the last time you took a serious look at service levels through the entire delivery chain?

I developed a reception audit for one of my clients. Here is a short version. How would you score?

1. Aesthetic Welcome

  • Accessibility is easy (location, parking, handicap assistance, well lit)
  • Front door and lobby reflect the nature of the business
  • General cleanliness (pictures are straight, no stains on the furniture)

2. Authentic Greeting

  • Greeted by name if feasible
  • Greeted warmly (hear the smile)
  • Appropriate attention if kept waiting (offer to sit, beverage, periodic check-in)

3. Warm Departure

  • Helpful check: “Is there anything else I can help you with?” “Were you able to get everything you needed?”
  • Thanked by name if feasible
  • Anticipate the return. “We look forward to seeing you again.” “Let us know when we can be of assistance again.”


  • 8 to 9 – A warm first impression: Set for Success!
  • 4 – 7 – Basic greeting: It’s all up to the next person they meet
  • less than 4 – Starting from behind: Opportunity lost for a stellar experience

Need an objective review? Ask for a Skipper Service Audit and learn how to begin supercharging your service in a week.

Thoughtfully Yours,