How Should Front Desk Officers Tackle Rude Outside Visitors

Your lobby creates your first impression. Some visitors may be rude or have bad intentions. Here is how you should handle those guests to avoid incidents.


Originally published by North Country Public Radio. Reposted with permission.


There are several things front desk executives have to deal with on a daily basis and one of them is rude visitors. Front desk officers have to deal with a lot of rude visitors as they are the only members of staff visitors have direct access to. 

The visitors could be disappointed over a certain service provided by the company, angry with an employee of the company, or just downright rude. There are several ways front desk executives could choose to deal with this. Here are the best ways to tackle rude visitors.

Use company resources to follow up on the issue

Visitor check in software takes temperatures and captures legal document signaturesWith most companies incorporating new technologies into most activities carried out in the office, many activities that were once done manually have now been digitized. Staff now use biometric technology to sign in to work and sign out. There are CCTV cameras all over the workplace. Most departments are linked, so with permission, you can obtain whatever information you want. 

A good technology that has received a positive response from all ends is the virtual visitor management software offered by Greetly. It is a visitor sign-in application where visitors easily sign themselves into the office while capturing their information as well. These are all technologies that can be used to obtain information and follow up on a complaint made by a visitor.

Listen to their complaints

Most times, rude visitors are frustrated over something or have a complaint. Front desk officers should keenly and silently listen to the complaints the visitors have. They should make a point to watch for their body language to not come off as disinterested or antsy no matter how long or rude the complaints are. 

Listening with arms crossed over the chest or tapping a foot on the ground may send the message that you are impatient and may anger the visitor more. When a front desk officer is patient with them, visitors feel listened to and most times stop being rude, either due to shame or the fact that their anger has dissipated.

Remain calm

Always stay calm when conversing with a rude visitor. Often, they are not angry with you but with the service offered, and though unfair, you need to be the bigger person and understand that this is the case. No matter what they do, yell, scream or hurl insults, you need to maintain your composure and remain uninvolved with the situation. 

Letting the matter get personal will only further worsen an already bad situation. If you respond to their rudeness with hostility, it is bound to worsen, and you are more likely to face the repercussions while the visitor has nothing to lose. The best thing is to remain calm until they are done.

Sympathize with the visitor

Check in app for secure officesA front desk executive should attempt to show kindness to the visitor despite their rudeness. Show compassion to the visitor and let them know that you understand their frustrations, even though that may not be the case. It does not help the situation at all if you are equally rude. 

There’s more to lose on your part. Unsatisfied visitors need to know that someone empathizes with them. Being kind to a visitor regardless of their behavior is bound to de-escalate the situation, and the visitor will most likely calm down. From there, you can easily figure out the way forward or how you can assist the visitor.

Apologize sincerely and find a solution

Whether their complaints are valid or not, give sincere apologies on behalf of whoever their complaint is about. Your reaction to them is what controls the direction of the complaint. The visitor is probably a potential client or customer and you want to retain them. 

The image of the company also matters and most times, it is the front desk executives that carry the image as they are the first people clients or guests interact with. Apologize to the visitor for whatever inconvenience they encountered and try to actively find a solution for them or forward them to someone who can.

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