Receptionist Training 101

Want to be the best receptionist of all time? Let Steve Stauning teach you how to become the Best Receptionist Ever with these Short & Sweet Video Lessons. To read the transcripts of any video in this series, please visit the post dedicated to that lesson:

Receptionist Training: How to be the Best Receptionist Ever

Receptionist Training: How to Handle an Angry Customer


Receptionist 101 Training


  1. Samantha
    November 27, 2016 @ 2:49 pm

    Hello Steve, I have a question for you. I have a receptionist who can be condescending to customers and other employees. She’s been a valued employee for 17 years, and I appreciate that, however, I can also see the effects that her negative communication can cause. What can I do to reset this person to feeling love for her customers again? The hardest part of this situation is that I’m the new office manager so we don’t have any kind of relationship or trust foundation at this point.


    • Steve Stauning
      November 27, 2016 @ 2:51 pm

      Hi Samantha,

      Let’s start this with the knowledge that unfortunately, not everyone is a fit for every job. It doesn’t make them a bad person, it just means that they can’t work here. Also, your entire foundation can be laid with this employee during your very next interaction provided you are direct with her.

      That said, I might be giving bad advice here, because I’m not in the middle of your situation – so please take this all with a grain of salt.

      Based on what little I know about your 17-year employee, I would confront her directly and not mince words. (Also, because she’s been there 17 years and you’re new to your role, I would document every interaction with her.) Most likely, I would start by having a meeting that begins by asking her a series of questions:

      1. Do you like your job?
      2. Do you like your coworkers?
      3. Do you like our customers?
      4. What do you hate most about the job? Your coworkers? Our customers?
      5. etc.

      If I have a different perception than she does about any answer I would reply “Interesting, because it seems…(and then add my reality).”

      Where our answers are the same I would reply “Interesting, why do you think that is?”

      Finally, I would end the meeting with the reality of her condescending attitude and how it hurts employee morale and the customer. I would let her know in no uncertain terms that we value her 17 years, but not more than we value our relationship with our customers. And that she either needs to learn to absolutely love what she’s doing or we’ll help her (as much as we can) to find something else to do with her life.

      There are also a couple of resources that might help:

      I recently broadcast a free, live training on Customer Service. It’s a little over an hour long and you can see the recording here:

      I wrote a blog piece last year about a jerk I worked with and how I overcame my hatred for him. It might be helpful to have your employee read it and learn how she might become “The New Steve” (explained in the article) in the ways she interacts with customers/coworkers (Richard in the story). Here’s a link to that:

      I am hopeful this helps.

      Please keep me posted on your progress.

      Best wishes,



  2. Angela
    March 7, 2016 @ 3:15 am

    I was getting my taxes done at a local Credit Central Loan Office when the Manager offered me or ask me if I was interested in working for her company, Of course I was, but have few to no skills, but do have very good social skills, and very interested in progressing and being a promising position with this company. How can I be the best receptionist she has to offer me in being the best I can and getting some online advice and training before hand, to be the receptionist she needs and loves?


    • Steve Stauning
      March 7, 2016 @ 3:16 am

      Hi Angela,

      Well, so long as there’s no pressure….


      In all seriousness, you sound like you have the most important aspect to job success: a desire to be the best! I recommend that after you watch my two receptionist videos and (especially) read all of the comments, that you always remember just a few simple “rules of life as a receptionist:”

      1. It’s just a job and I’m not doing open heart surgery. (This means: no one is going to die WHEN, not if, I make a mistake.)
      2. No one can make me feel small unless I let them. (So, when someone is being an asshole, remember Rule 1 – it’s just a job.)
      3. All I can do is all I can do… but all I can do is enough. (No one can expect you to do more than you are capable of… and if they do, you’re not a fit. It’s time to dust off the resume and look for something else.)
      4. People like being around upbeat, happy people. (Anybody can tell you why your company sucks – work everyday to find the reasons that your company, your boss and your customers are the best in the world!)
      5. This job is a step for me. Love it and do it to the best of my abilities and I will move on to better positions and better pay. (The alternative is to have a bad attitude and end up being a not-so-good and unhappy receptionist forever.)

      Hope that helps. Please keep me posted on your progress!

      Best wishes,



  3. Jenny
    June 24, 2015 @ 4:35 am

    As it so happens, I’m also a 19 year old receptionist. I’m actually an intern, but I have to man the front desk. I only had 30 minutes of training to answer the phone and transfer calls. Hopefully, I do better tomorrow after watching your videos tonight – I’ve learned a lot already.

    I had to deal with a few difficult customers today and over-apologized even when I was simply following company policies. They then demanded to see my manager. Do you have advice for this?


    • Steve Stauning
      June 24, 2015 @ 10:16 am

      Jenny – The best advice I can give a 19-year-old entering the workforce in a customer-facing position such as yours is this: There will always be assholes. If you let them get to you, you will have a miserable working life that will often spread over into your home life. The key is to simply understand that all you can do is all you can do. If someone wants more than that, then they have a problem.

      So, happily let them speak to your manager whenever they want. If your manager doesn’t routinely support you, start looking for another job. There will always be assholes, you just never want to work for one.


  4. Jeb
    May 13, 2015 @ 12:51 pm

    Hello there Steve! I recently have been watching your receptionist training videos on YouTube, and as a 19 year old customer service representative, it has helped me a lot. I appreciate your time and effort into making these tutorials. Keep doing what you do! -Jeb


    • Steve Stauning
      May 13, 2015 @ 12:53 pm

      Hi Jeb. Thank you for the kind words – I’m thrilled to hear the videos have helped you. If you think of anything else you’d like me to record or run into issues we did not address in the videos, please drop me a note. – Steve


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