Director of First Impressions

Many large companies are creating positions called a Director of First Impressions. As a matter of fact, you can find many job openings on Zip Recruiter with salaries hovering around 40K+ per year. Their job is to design, implement, and maintain ongoing quality control for the first interactions their clients will have when interacting with their company, services, and products whether online, on the initial phone call, or in person.

But what about small businesses? Could anything be more important for a small business than getting this right since it will largely determine how many new clients they attract, convert, and retain? And yet, how many could afford a full-time position to assure this level of experience?

I have a radical thought… What if I told you that you already have them on your payroll? You often mistake them for a “receptionist.” Whoever you have hired to answer your phone, greet clients when they arrive, and keep an eye on your online presence… is unofficially your Director of First Impressions. Here’s my idea: Why not make it official?

It would need to come with a clear job description, extensive training, and supporting tools. The duties would include the ability to be unwaveringly warm and welcoming, expertly skilled in converting all kinds of new client phone calls and fastidious about the cleanliness and progressiveness of the reception and new client areas.

But the job description of a “Director” of any department would always include ongoing evaluation, quality control, and improvement duties as well. This position might include:

  • regularly evaluating your online and in-office image;
  • listening to and evaluating new client and other phone calls;
  • interviewing random new clients about their experience;
  • routinely inspecting the parking lot, signage, sidewalks, hallways, reception areas, and new client areas from the client’s perspective;
  • creating and delivering new client orientation kits and/or gifts;
  • developing and implementing referral programs;
  • and being absolutely determined to create an initial experience that would be unmatched by any of your competitors by suggesting and implementing the best ideas for improvement to the team.

There is much more that could be included in this position description but elevating your frontline workers to Directors of First Impressions with strong direction, proper training, and clear expectations could transform their jobs, your client experience, and ultimately your bottom-line results.


“A stunning first impression was not the same thing as love at first sight.
But surely it was an invitation to consider the matter.”
~~Lois McMaster Bujold