Front office procedures should be tailored to fit your business. For example, a medical or dental practice will require different procedures than a law firm, collection agency, barber shop or factory. Take time to develop a thorough checklist that addresses important front office goals and objectives.
For businesses that receive steady client traffic, the front office procedures should reflect the overall business environment. A warm, inviting business will emphasize the important of smiling and maintaining professional phone etiquette. Medical or dental offices rely heavily on steady patient flows. Hence, the front office at a clinic should have enough intake staff to check patients in, answer patient questions in person and over the phone and handle patient departures, including receiving payment and scheduling follow-up procedures. Consider working with a phone service to handle after-hour client calls.
An important part of running a successful front office involves handling business appointments. Front office employees should contact clients the day before their appointment and confirm the scheduled time. Create a cancellation or no-show list so you can schedule other appointments to make up for dropped ones. Front office employees at a hotel should maintain accurate room records because that directly affects room service and housekeeping operations. Front office employees at elementary, middle and high schools should maintain accurate student records, including those that pertain to student absences and visitors.
Continuously evaluate front office procedures. If you find room for improvement, create and implement appropriate strategies. If the front office is overwhelmed with calls and can't always provide superb customer service, consider changing the phone system (e.g., using a computer phone system) or using instant messaging technology to gauge staff availability. Assess whether your front office case management can be improved by going paperless.
Maggie Gebremichael has been a freelance writer since 2002. She speaks Spanish fluently and resides in Texas. When she is not writing articles for eHow.com, Gebremichael loves to travel internationally and learn about different cultures. She obtained an undergraduate degree with a focus on anthropology and business from the University of Texas and enjoys writing about her various interests.