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.
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.