Friday, August 8, 2008

First Impressions

Ever have one of those weeks where all you do is run from meeting to meeting to meeting? That is how this week has been for me. Many times I thought of something I wanted to post, but just couldn't carve out the time to do it. I planned on posting some things this morning, but after working on one small task for over an hour that should have taken me 5 minutes, my creative time was gone (I actually yelled and stomped my foot today - at the computer).

So tonight I have a moment and wanted to share something that was said to me at one of my many meetings this week. I requested a meeting with a government agency, who shall remain nameless. The meeting was scheduled for 3:00 p.m. Upon arriving, I had to sign in and get a Visitor badge. I arrived at 2:50 p.m. I try very hard to be early or on-time for meetings, especially ones that I have requested. The receptionist called the person to tell her I was there but couldn't reach her. She looked at me and said, "You are very early for your meeting. No one ever arrives here early. They are always late." Wow. She seemed really proud to be working there - not. She was the first person I interacted with in that office. Bad first impression.

Sometimes administrative or clerical positions get overlooked on the "importance to the organization scale." Why is it that those positions are on the low side in terms of wages when they actually could be one of the most important positions in the company? First impressions can have a direct effect on the bottom line. Make a good impression, your customers will return. Make a bad one and they are not only gone forever, but they will share their story with their friends, family and anyone who will listen.

Make sure the first person who interacts with your customers enjoys their job and believes in the company. If THEY don't, how do you expect them to convince your customers?

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