Remembering And Using The Customer's Name
There are many ways to deliver superior customer service. I believe your name is a precious possession and when a company uses your name it elevates the customer experience. People value their names and the capital they bring to any conversation, interaction, or relationship. People love to hear their names. More than any other word in any language, their names often sound best to their own ears. It gives them a jolt when recognized by a friend or acquaintance. That recognition almost always generates an immediate, positive reaction that affects the upcoming experience for the better.
When you unexpectedly and successfully remember someone’s name or face, you immediately make them feel special. You tap into a powerful and valuable skill that won’t go unnoticed or forgotten by your customers, your fellow employees, or top management. When you make someone feel special they become more likely to notice and appreciate your efforts.
When you go to your bank, healthcare facility, dry cleaners, gas station, supermarket, hotel, or restaurant does remember you and use your name? I know of only two firms that are good at this, Amazon and Apple. Maybe that is one of the reasons they both have record growth each year.
At a dry cleaner, it’s impossible to pick up your dry cleaning without giving your name. When you walk in does the employee say, “Good Morning, Susan” or when leaving does the employee say, “Thanks for coming in today, Susan?”
When you are checking out at the supermarket, does the cashier say, “Hi Mike, did you find everything you needed?” After paying does the employee say, “Thanks Mike, we really appreciate your business.”?
The last time I was at Outback Steakhouse, their loyalty program showed I have been there 38 times. Never have they used my name. I spend several hundred thousand dollars a year flying, often in business class. In the last 20 years, only four times has a flight attendant used my name.
At SQI we teach leading-edge customer service skills that make a difference and give you a competitive advantage. I believe one of the nine principles for the Proven Process for Driving a Service Culture is remembering and using the customer’s name. The secret sauce that can help you increase sales, employee tip income, and garner more positive feedback from customers.
John Tschohl is the founder and president of the Service Quality Institute. He is considered one of the world’s foremost authorities on all aspects of customer service and recently released his latest book, “Relentless.” John’s monthly strategic newsletter is available online at no charge at www.customer-service.com.
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