Organizations big and small often strive for some of the same goals. They often want to maintain professionalism in their image and interactions, they desire efficiency in all of their day-to-day operations, they pursue cohesiveness and teamwork capability in the staff they procure, and they seek to provide excellent customer service for all of their clients.
In order to attain these goals from top to bottom on the organizational chart requires the proper personnel in the proper places. For many businesses, this means hiring a receptionist to cover incoming calls and visitors. In locations such as, for example, an auto body shop, this might be a strained expense, but is also much better than having one of the mechanics without customer service training trying to handle cold calls. But even for enormous corporations, professional receptionists are an important asset to a company for a few primary reasons.
Trained, professional receptionists are, through education and experience, familiar with all the ins and outs of communications professionalism. They are able to nimbly and skillfully deal with any verbal task required, often able to make wisely improvise on the fly and multitask as required.
Often, coverage work (taking phone calls, greeting visitors, etc.) is an undesirable job for specialized workers who are better trained and capable of performing a different duty. In these situations, it presents a much more professional image to have a professional receptionist taking care of these situations than just some guy who drew the short straw for that day.
Although this conclusion comes dangerous close to making sweeping generalizations, few would argue that customers would prefer a pleasant, positive-attitude, happy-sounding voice to greet them on the phone, rather than the untrained phone reception work that would otherwise be provided by untrained, inappropriately assigned personnel. There are exceptions, of course; the cheif financial officer may indeed be a very friendly guy or gal, but in all likelihood it would remain better to have a professional receptionist performing those duties rather than the jaded, bitter accountant who has to work in the basement.
Having someone trained to greet customers in a pleasant manner and encounter all situations with a positive attitude increases the likelihood of customer retention and increases the overall client experience, both of which are factors that eventually bolster the bottom line if resultant sales are made.
If a professional receptionist is taking care of reception work, this frees up other co-workers, managers, etc. to better perform their tasks that they were much more qualified and prepared for. Although some smaller businesses may try to get away with having a non-reception person handle the necessary work of incoming inquiries, these same people and thus given less time to handle their other projects, which are surely of paramount importance as well, especially given the limited human resources available to that particular organization. Having a professional receptionist solves this issue: Rather than a manager having to deal with phone calls all day, the receptionist can not only take those calls and handle them well, but also filter and condense them for the rest of his or her co-workers.
For these reasons and more, professional receptionists are an important asset to a company. Just as every tool, no matter what size or shape, has its own essential function in the toolbox, so too do receptionists (and salesman, and machinists, and executives, and analysts, and accountants, etc.) have their valuable, unique, proper place in the workforce.