Department of First and Last Impressions

By Micah Solomon – keynote speaker, customer service speaker, customer service consultant, and #1 bestselling author of “Exceptional Service, Exceptional Profit: The Secrets of Building a Five-Star Customer Service Organization.” Visit with Micah at

Bored receptionist, licensed from iStockphoto
Quick, think: Who is the first and last person your customers talk to when they’re on your premises, or on the phone?  It may be your receptionist,  office manager, host, or another employee who greets most of your visitors — and who later bids them farewell; regardless of title,  did you carefully vet this person?  Train her? Supervise her?  Or is this an entry-level position, a stepping stone, almost a “throwaway?”

I’ve written elsewhere about the huge influence that first and last impressions will have on your customer’s overall evaluation of you.  Truly,  these moments can make all the difference in your brand image.

Greeted with genuine caring and courtesy, a customer will forgive later minor problems, and will be more pleased with your later successes.  Start off your customer’s visit with a good feeling, and the rest of their time with you is so much more likely to feel good to them, too.  And a caring farewell has the power to assuage a customer’s lingering concerns., and it can transform a fairly positive experience (“Most things were pretty good”) into a wonderful memory (“Everything was just perfect!”).

A bonus post from the College of the Customer archives