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Do you employ the receptionist of the year? Win a trip to New York

The deadline is fast approaching for entries to the AM/Accident Exchange receptionist of the year competition.

Managers only have until July 18 to nominate their receptionist and give these unsung heroes their moment in the spotlight.

Receptionists maintain a calm, courteous and professional demeanour at all times regardless of the visitor’s behaviour.

Their personal qualities include: attentiveness, well- groomed appearance, initiative, loyalty, maturity, respect for confidentiality and discretion, a positive attitude and dependability.

The job can be one of the most stressful in business due to inter-action with many different people with different types of personalities, and being expected to perform multiple tasks quickly.

The receptionist’s role in the dealership, repair business or bodyshop is a vital one but it is still, for many, an under-utilised resource.

Gordon Grant, manufacturer account director for Accident Exchange and one of the competition judges, said: “The receptionist is the first point of contact whether it is face to face or on the phone.

"How they handle a customer determines to a large extent whether any business is generated.

“Using their experience, and knowledge of the business, they can build confidence in the customer by establishing their needs and providing solutions.

“They can be the integrating factor – a softer sales approach, customer service and assistance – all breeding customer loyalty and improving the brand experience.”

Win a trip to New York - competition judging process:

Nominations from dealer principals/general managers/workshop and bodyshop managers. Questions cover:

1. Please give the name and workplace of your nominee for the receptionist competition.

2. Give two examples of outstanding service from your receptionist when he/she has gone above and beyond the call of duty.

3. What qualities does your receptionist bring to the job?

4. How important is the role of the receptionist to your customers’ loyalty and how do they drive repeat business?

5. Why should your receptionist win this award (no more than 500 words)?

6. Please provide full contact details for your business.

Answers to be submitted via email to AM magazine at am@bauerconsumer.co.uk.

The AM/Accident Exchange Receptionist of the Year will receive, in addition to a plaque commemorating their win, a city break for two to New York, spending four nights at a four star hotel, plus $500 spending money.

The runner up will have a choice of prizes:

Either a weekend of pampering for two at Champneys spa, including all meals, unlimited use of the facilities together with a body massage, relaxing facial and a Thalassotherapy session per person.

Or a golf break - two nights at a swanky hotel for two, including two rounds of golf and dinner.

The judging panel: Stephen Briers, AM editor; Gordon Grant, Accident Exchange manufacturer director; Sue Robinson, NFDA director; Sarah Sillars, IMI chief executive; Paul Cooper, Institute of Customer Service director.

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