In How to Win Friends and Influence People, Dale Carnegie explained that the sweetest and most important sound to a person is their own name. When someone calls you by name, it implies familiarity. It brings a feeling as if the two of you have a relationship. And with the number of businesses that treat customers like a transaction rather than a person, caring enough about your customers to call them by their name will win you mucho brownie points.
This is extremely important in businesses that see customers face-to-face. For instance, if you own a restaurant or a dry cleaning business, when customers enter your world, learn their names and say them. Especially if you see their lovely faces week after week.
- When I went to the restaurant The Quick Fixx in my neighborhood in Philadelphia, it put a really big smile on my face when the owner called me by name. It made me feel like he saw me as an individual and that I mattered to his business. It is just one of the reasons I became a regular at the eatery.
- I always smile when I go to Amazon.com and it reads “Hello Sonia” in the toolbar. Reading your name can bring as much joy as hearing it.
- Do you have an online business? If so, you can still call customers by their name. If you do email marketing, you can customize your messages with your customers name by using an email service provider like Aweber, that has that capability.
- Do you have a business where you get to interact with customers directly? If you do, make it a point to learn the name of every person you come in contact with. Make it the first thing you do after you welcome them into your business. Get their name in a welcoming way. The same way you would when introducing yourself to someone for the first time. Tell them your name, and then ask for theirs. It’ll help to disarm those who are a bit reluctant to tell you who they are.
Application for your business:
- When does it most make sense for you to use the names of your customers when interacting with them?
- How can you learn the name of every customer you interact with in your business?
- When the interaction with your customers isn’t a personal one, which tools will you use to help you use the names of your customers?