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Remember and Using a Customer’s Name

Customer service has many elements that allow you 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 generated 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 her 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 he becomes 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 ANYONE 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.

When you go out for dinner or lunch and have a reservation and say I have a 12 PM reservation for Sergio for four does the hostess say? Thanks, Sergio, are all four people here now? When the server comes does she say this is Sergio and his party of 4 take good care of them? Does the server then say Sergio please follow me, my name is Carlos. May I ask the names of the other 3 guests with you?  When the server gets everyone seated does he say Sergio what can I get you to drink? Carmen how about you? Teresa and you? Randy your the last person what would you like to drink? This is not complicated. The server would double his tip income. The restaurant would probably have a 25% increase in sales. Where do you think Sergio would want to come in the future? As leaving the hostess says Sergio how was the service and food today?  Every restaurant has at least 10 other restaurants within a few blocks. Do any of them remember you and use your name?

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, 4 times a flight attendant has used my name. The last time was on Southwest Airlines in a coach seat. (I am not talking when the flight attendant comes by with their list of names and speaks, Mr. Tschohl am I pronouncing this correctly. I want the flight attendant 20 minutes later to say, Mr. Tschohl would you like another drink. Mr. Tschohl thanks for flying with us.

At SQI we teach leading-edge customer service skills that make a difference. That gives 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, employees tip income, and more positive feedback from customers. It increases employee retention and loyalty that is immune to competition.