Learn a Customer’s Name and Build Loyalty

My apologies for posting a day late. I had to write parts of this post as I ran around like crazy yesterday (Friday) and didn’t actually finish it up and get a chance to post it until this morning.

I would not hesitate to say that every time you learn a customer’s name (and use it), you make that customer more loyal to your company. People love to be recognized and it can make a big difference. Smaller companies are great at this – they build a great relationship with their customers and obviously, they learn their names. Every time a customer walks in the door, they are greeted by name (the employees just know) and it makes a huge difference in not only the customer service experience, but the entire customer experience.

A little thing that makes a big difference.
Learning a customer’s name is a classic example of a little thing that can really make a big difference. Customers will definitely notice it (and even get used to it after a while) and will almost always appreciate it. “The folks at Company XYZ always treat me well” is the sort of reaction that you should strive for. Knowing a customer’s name and giving them personal attention is an excellent first step.

Builds a lot of loyalty and relationship.
People like to come back to places where people know them. I know I like to go to certain places (restaurants mainly) because one or more of the employees know me by name, what my interests are, etc. People like to feel like regulars and knowing a customer’s name is the best way to do that.

Make a contest out of it.
A terrific way to motivate employees to start learning customers’ names is to make a contest out of it. Give $1 for every name an employee can learn. If they learn 100 names, they get $100. There can be other ways to create a bit of internal competition – have a monthly contest that gives one reward to the person who can remember the most names, etc.

Pay attention to little details.
Some people are great with names, others are terrible. I’m in the middle. I recognize people I’ve met and am usually pretty good at putting a name to their face. If I learn someone’s name, I very rarely forget it. If you don’t have a natural gnack for learning names, pay attention to facial details, how the person usually dresses, how they act, what their voice sounds like, etc.

Don’t overuse names.
This is more of a common sense element, but don’t overuse names. My general rule of thumb is to use a person’s name wherever you would use sir or maddam.

3 Responses to “Learn a Customer’s Name and Build Loyalty”

  1. Darlene said:

    Jun 16, 07 at 10:46 pm

    Hi Doug,

    Tag! You’re it! I have tagged you over at interviewchatter.com. I look forward to hearing all about you!

    In business, it is all about relationship. When people spend time with you, purchasing and using your product or service, they want to know that they are not just a blur in the minds of servicing them. People do like to hear their name. Great post!

  2. Service Untitled said:

    Jun 17, 07 at 5:39 pm

    Thanks Darlene! I’ll have to think about seven things to post.

  3. Service Untitled» Blog Archive » Where Everyone Knows Your Name said:

    Jan 06, 10 at 8:37 am

    […] savor the joy of excellent customer service. For more on using a customer’s name, check out this post. And if you really want to go above and beyond, consider learning the names of your best […]