Word Of the Week #536: Names

November 12, 2014 by  

Names – how you acknowledge, give recognition, and personalize contacts.

When was the last time you were addressed by your name when you were a customer? How did it make you feel? How many of your customers, guests, or members do you know by name?

This is #5 of my 7 Simple Steps of Service and one that I think is very important if your goal is to create a loyal following. Have you ever said, “I am terrible when it comes to remembering people’s names?” If you think that, then you probably are! Make a conscious choice this week to care enough to remember someone’s name.

One of the things I do is play a game and associate the person’s name with a rhyme, or an image, or a famous person. Example: If I meet someone named Marilyn, I would name associate Marilyn Monroe. And for Amy, I think of the song by Pure Prairie League.

Another very helpful tip I learned is to repeat the person’s name when you are introduced. Example: So nice to meet you Carol and welcome to … When I travel I also try to help others remember my name by saying, “I am Susan from San Diego” and they will usually tell me where they’re from and that helps me remember them as well.a names

I found this article “Do You Know Your Customers’ Names?” by Brian Cantor who writes, “Isolated experiences matter. One bad date can put the kibosh on a relationship. One bad interview can ruin one’s chances of getting a job. For major companies, a customer’s one bad experience with one employee at one single location can destroy his opinion of the entire organization.

That reality puts immense pressure on those tasked with driving the customer experience. Customers, inherently inclined to overvalue their individual experiences, will not necessarily be comforted by the knowledge that the company’s service is usually great. They will not necessarily care that most employees are not like that one who was rude and dismissive.

Customers are loyal to those organizations who they believe are acting in their best interest. Quality service and innovative ideas can be indicative of a commitment to improving the customer experience, but recognizing a customer by name confirms the importance the organization places on that customer.

And while one bad employee encounter can ruin a customer’s experience; one good one who cares, takes the time to acknowledge the customer by name, and create a personal relationship can turn it around.

This week focus on remembering names. Are you truly committed to creating loyal customers, guests, members or clients? How difficult would it be for you to repeat the person’s name when you are introduced? Have you ever played the name association game? Does everyone in your organization care about giving customers the best possible experience?

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