Providing Quality Front Office Customer Service From An East Ohio Point of View

By: Katie Lowe

Hello Friends! It’s Katie Lowe, East Ohio’s Front Office Administrative Assistant. You may remember me from “Where is Katie Lowe?”, a series of blogs I did while I was attending East Ohio as a business administration student. I have made the transition from business administration graduate to Administrative Assistant here at East Ohio, and I am so happy! I get to see all of my favorite people every single day and I have no words to describe my excitement from the experiences I have had over the past few years and continue to have here every day and the different things I get to do.

I have been asked to give you a little advice when it comes to working in a customer service position. Here is a small list of tips and tricks that I have picked up on while working in a customer service role here at East Ohio.

  1. Many businesses have specific guidelines and expectations for personnel managing the phones. This typically includes a phone script. Although a phone script can be intimidating, remember, it is a useful tool that is there to help you and the person on the other end of the line.

a. When you are given a script to go by, it is basically a guideline that is there to help you steer the conversation, and the person on the line, where they need to go. Depending on the person’s needs on the other side of the line, that script can be altered to fit the conversation at hand. Just so long as you remember the basics of the script or have one handy, like I do, you will be good to go!

  1. Be friendly and kind, ALWAYS!

a. I know, this one is a tough one. We are all human beings with feelings, and sometimes we just don’t feel friendly or have a very sunny disposition depending on what’s going on in our lives, and that’s ok! However, you have to remember, as a customer service representative, or in my case, the receptionist here at East Ohio, that you are a face of the company. I am the first person you see when you walk through our front door. I am the first impression and I want to make it count. I will always be kind and I will always smile and be friendly and be happy to talk with you! I love having visitors. It gets a little lonely at the front desk, so I am always happy to see you! I also remember that no matter what I’m going through, be it personal or work-related, that someone somewhere may have it worse than me, and they deserve a little bit of happiness and a smile!

  1. Check-in frequently with your co-workers.

a. Everyone needs a little help sometimes, whether it’s lifting something heavy or getting an opinion on something small. Check-in with your other co-workers frequently to see if they need anything. Even if it’s just once a day, they will really appreciate the gesture. The staff and faculty here at East Ohio are almost constantly checking in with each other. As we like to say, we are a family, and we like to make sure that our family is taken care of, and that helps this college run like a well-oiled machine. A machine can’t work without all of its parts!

  1. Be organized and tidy up frequently

a. So I know that everyone’s job at the end of their shift is to clean and put things back in order and things like that for the next shift or next day, but maybe a few more times during your shift, take a look at your work area, or the surrounding areas and see if something needs to be straightened up. My desk can become a terrible mess of things, (my fault 99% of the time). I also share my desk in the front with Rhonda, so there is usually a file that needs to be processed, or a request of some sort that needs to be completed. Just try to keep everything in your area neat and as organized as you can, and clean up the little bit of things that can be cleaned. I’m always straightening chairs and putting things away in different parts of the building. That way, when visitors or new/potential students show up, everything is neat and set up for when they come in!

  1. Take constructive criticism when it is offered!

a. I understand that constructive criticism can be hard to swallow sometimes, but believe me, in the end, it helps a lot! When someone that you work with offers constructive criticism, take it, and work with it! There is always room to improve, and it’s better to hear how you can improve and the areas that need the most work. Without constructive criticism, I wouldn’t be able to improve at my job. I always appreciate the opinions of others that I work with on the ways that I can help improve my performance at the front desk to make not only my area better, but to help improve other areas around the school. If I do my job better and get everything done in a timely manner and to the best of my ability, I can help others around the office, by helping them with some filing, or typing something up, or anything else they might need. That helps them get more done, because it’s one less thing for them to worry about and they can focus more on the task in front of them, which will continue to help the school run like it should.