Seth Godin’s blog post on Receptionists is 100% correct.  When I was a managing partner, my firm required a receptionist for our largest office.  I personally reviewed 215 applications myself and created my "A list", about 42 applicants, whom I invited for interviews late one afternoon.   I asked 6 of my partners to help me and we interviewed 6 applicants each.  Any WOW applicant was interviewed separately by at least two partners.  Were we insane to take so much partner time on this?  You decide.

PUNCHLINE:  For many years thereafter, we had a legendary receptionist whom clients loved on the phone and in person.  I personally received an average of two positive remarks about her every week.   Many of my partners and associates reported similar experiences.  She created the "positive experiences" that Seth blogged about.

I remember a call from New York one day and the lawyer started by saying: "before we get to the business at hand, I just have to tell you…".  I did not have heart to tell him "yeah, I know, you are the 100th person this year to tell me". 

By the way, I told that receptionist about every single positive comment I heard, personally or second hand (and no, that did not lead to extortion – she appreciated the recognition and the credible praise). 

Cynics – who are tempted to guess that she was the winner of a beauty pageant – don’t go there –  she got the job as the best applicant and got her praise on merit – her performance was awesome.