Fire your receptionist!

After you’ve fired your receptionist, if he or she is doing a great job, immediately rehire the person with a new title: Director of First Impressions.

A number of months ago I read about the idea of a director of first impressions somewhere. I mentioned it to the receptionist in our firm (who handles a tough job really well), and it made her feel better about her job.

Too many professional offices give little thought to the receptionist Director of First Impressions. Yet it’s this employee who is the first contact our clients have with us. This employee is the one who sets the tone with a friendly smile (or a grumpy frown). This employee is the one who updates you that the person you’re going to see is running a few minutes late (or forgets that you even walked in the door).

Some time spent training the Director of First Impressions about the importance of the job and your expectations of how he or she will interact with clients will go a long way to improving your practice. It’s a small investment that can pay big returns. And if you think the idea is ridiculous, then why does a local credit union put a sign on its reception desk identifying the employee as the Director of First Impressions? I’d say the credit union’s president doesn’t think the idea is ridiculous.

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