Always Remember Your Customer’s Name

I was contemplating a number of sensational titles for this article, but finally settled on a sober, straight forward one instead. That’s because, I wanted people to get the message even if they don’t read past the title. An advice like “Always Remember Your Customer’s Name”, might sound silly, but is absolutely critical in making the customer feel important. Addressing a customer with an incorrect name or pronouncing it wrongly is a clear sign that you aren’t paying the attention he/she deserves.

The confidence that customer has in your ability to resolve his/her issues will take a beating and chances of recovering from such setback are next to none. I’ve been on both sides of the customer support line and have first hand experience on both addressing customers incorrectly and as a customer, have had several instances of getting my name mispronounced.

My name is a combination of commonly used names across India and it surprises me how many times the executive at the other end of the call falters to pronounce it properly. Many among us might have had similar experiences and at the very least, it will get the customer at the other end very irritated. There could be two reasons as to why mistakes like these happen time and again.

First, in the case of an outbound call, there is a very good chance a support team member dials the number, waits for the phone to be picked up and only when the customer answers do they scramble to check his/her name from the monitor or a printout. It’s a common mistake that could happen after a long day of attending to the call list. Spending just a few seconds to know the name of the person before making the call would save a lot of embarrassment.

And second, be it an outbound or inbound call, occasionally it’s possible for the agent to use the name of a customer to whom he was speaking to earlier in the day. A simple, unintentional slip up, but the effect is going to be as jarring as in previous case. This could be averted by writing down the names of the customers you have talked to so far and striking out their names as soon as the call is over.

This way, if you forget the name of the customer on the call or not sure if the previous call has actually ended (happens when there are a lot of calls), a quick glance at the paper could save a lot of pain. There, we now have two simple solutions to elementary mistakes that prevent you from making a good first impression.

Know better ways to make the customer feel important? We would love to hear your thoughts!