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What Is Front Office Support?

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  • Written By: Angela Farrer
  • Edited By: W. Everett
  • Last Modified Date: 29 September 2016
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Front office support entails a series of job duties that are required to keep the day-to-day operations of a business running smoothly. These tasks often include fielding customer phone calls to the proper departments, answering client questions, filing documents, entering data into relevant computer software programs, and processing financial transactions. Various types of front office support jobs are tailored to different companies and organizations. Medical, legal, educational, and small business front offices each have unique responsibilities, though the overall purpose of a front office is to present a professional and efficient image of the organization to the public.

Various front office jobs include those of clerks, receptionists, and administrative assistants. These jobs usually come with varying levels of responsibility, depending on employee experience and education, and the associated duties can sometimes overlap for front office staff in small organizations. File clerks are often responsible for keeping organized records of printed documents and entering current customer information into computer database or spreadsheet programs. Receptionists primarily greet customers entering the front office and answer incoming phone calls, and they also usually transfer calls to other departments via a multi-line phone system. Administrative assistants may perform these filing and customer service tasks in addition to arranging their employer's daily schedules and word processing a variety of documents.

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Depending on the size and resources of a given business, the front office support staff may also be responsible for some types of customer financial transactions. They may process credit card payments for products or services and issue customers their receipts for these payments. Some organizations that outsource their payroll processing may require one of their front office support workers to pick up the finished checks from the payroll company. This employee is then sometimes responsible for distributing the checks to the rest of the office in a timely manner.

Since a front office support system is an important part of any organization, many businesses conduct a front office analysis at regular intervals. This type of quality control study examines the efficiency, organization, and professionalism of the front office staff and formulates ways to make needed improvements. Results of a front office analysis sometimes form the basis for promotion and pay raise decisions for the front office employees. Front office support staff who receive positive reviews from an analysis are usually those who are able to interact well with customers, work together as a team, and perform their duties with few if any mistakes.

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Fa5t3r
Post 3

@KoiwiGal - Just want to point out that not all front office support staff are receptionists. My bank, for example, has someone on the front desk under an Information sign and I wouldn't consider that person to be a receptionist.

Not to mention hotels generally don't call their front office staff receptionists either. It's really just a general term for anyone who works where they have to interact with the public I think.

KoiwiGal
Post 2

@umbra21 - I don't think it's as simple as that, and I also don't think that many men apply for those kinds of jobs at the moment. It IS seen as women's work, rightly or wrongly, and even if the company doesn't see it that way, men who could potentially fill the job do.

It can actually be a really difficult job. It's not one that you have to take home with you, that's true, but while you are on the job it can be incredibly fast-paced and requires a lot of skill. I think when people think of it in terms of what it actually entails, they don't think of it as for one gender or another, but when they think of a stereotype of a receptionist they think of a woman.

umbra21
Post 1

I'm always interested in the dress code for these kinds of positions. I know you are considered the face of the company but I've heard some of them can be really over the top in what they expect the person to wear.

And it is almost always a women in the position, not, I suspect, because no men apply for it, or because it's "women's work" but because people in general find women less intimidating and therefore more welcoming.

Of course, they would never admit to that kind of discrimination.

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