How to Greet High-Level Guests

Lauren Krause
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An office visit from a high-level guest is an important opportunity to demonstrate top quality customer service. The best administrative and clerical staff understand that customer service begins at the initial greeting. The way in which a guest is welcomed to the office sets the tone for the visit and can significantly influence the course of the business relationship.

One of the key functions of administrative and clerical staff is greeting clients, and the first impression given should not be underestimated. All clients deserve excellent treatment, but high-level guests may warrant an even greater degree of care and attention.

Whether the high-level guest is a current or potential client, make a positive impression by welcoming the guest warmly with a smile when he enters the office space. Know who is expected and at what time so you can be prepared. If you have met the guest before, greet him by name. If this is your first in-person meeting, introduce yourself with a handshake. Usher him into the waiting area. Be sure to present a professional appearance in keeping with the atmosphere of the company.

If you are engaged with another guest at the time of the arrival, find a way to make all guests feel welcome and comfortable. Just as a sales associate in a retail store, excuse yourself from the guest you are with and welcome the incoming guest. Try to make sure that no one feels ignored.

If you must ask the high-level guest to wait, make sure that he is comfortable. Assist with coats and umbrellas, and offer refreshments, such as coffee or water. Try to remember small details, such as if he takes cream or sugar in his coffee, to impress on future visits. Depending on the formality of the office, it may be appropriate to make small talk. If you have met previously, it is flattering if you remember any key details about the client that you could use to pose polite questions.

Avoid making any personal telephone calls while the guest is in proximity. Do not sit idly, but be attentive to the guest. Make sure that you find a solution to every problem that may arise.

When the person hosting the meeting is ready, escort the guest to the appropriate location if the host does not do so personally. Similarly, be available to escort the guest out after his business there is concluded.

An administrative or clerical staff's task of greeting clients is a valuable opportunity to set the standard of the company’s overall level of customer attention. Polite, professional and attentive customer service is a key step in earning a client’s loyalty. Greeting a high-level guest properly is a simple, yet nuanced skill that lays the foundation for a client relationship.


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