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Front office standard operating procedures

Updated April 17, 2017

Most businesses, small or large, have a front office or reception area. The standard operating procedures of a front office clerk consist of many duties and responsibilities that improve the efficiency of the office as a whole. Front office clerks should be well-versed in every aspect of their position in order to fulfil the role to the best of their abilities.

Serve as the Gatekeeper

The first and most important role a front office clerk plays is that of being the office gatekeeper. You are the first person people see when they walk in, and normally the first person they speak to when they call. You must be both friendly and polite to customers and clients, but also retain your authority as the gatekeeper. Your attitude will reflect either positively or poorly on the business as a whole, and you must always keep this in mind. It is up to you to ensure that the higher-ups are only receiving the people they have the time for and wish to speak with or see. Always direct the person appropriately and directly; you may need to tell someone he needs to leave a message, or that he needs to sit and wait..

Day-to-Day Tasks

In most offices, the front desk receptionist must handle most or all of the day-to-day activities, such as picking up the mail, listening to voicemail, readying moneybags, watering plants and restocking desks. Keeping a binder or checklist handy with all of the regular tasks for the day can help prevent you from forgetting something. It's also useful to keep an address book with important and frequently used numbers, because it is often the front desk's responsibility to call maintenance, IT and various other people throughout the day as problems arise.

Organising the Datebook

Lastly, unless this job has been delegated to another employee, such as the boss's assistant, the front desk is where the datebook is kept. Always be aware of upcoming and cancelled appointments. Remember to take down the names and numbers of people who wish to make an appointment on days that are full in case an appointment is cancelled and a time slot becomes available. At times it might be necessary to make tentative appointments; if so, simply place a post-it note over the time slot. Remember to always use pencil, as this is easier to erase and cover up should the schedule change.

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About the Author

Mary Freeman is a freelance writer. She has held several editorial positions at the print publication, "The Otter Realm." She traveled throughout Europe, which ultimately resulted in an impromptu move to London, where she stayed for eight months. This life experience inspired her to pursue travel writing. Freeman received a degree in human communication from California State University.