Have you been going to the same cafe, restaurant, or bar and the person serving you still hasn’t caught on to your name? Well, how about when they do greet you with your name (yes, the right name!) – feels good, doesn’t it? The relationship you’ve built, based on daily “good mornings” and quick but frequent smile exchanges, is no longer just in your head. As a happy customer your day is made better, but your happiness is also good for business. In our last post we talked about how happy customers are also more profitable – there’s power in greeting someone by name.
Asking someone for their name shows that you’re interested in forming a bond and customers definitely appreciate personalization – 74% of marketers say targeted personalization increases customer engagement. ( eConsultancy)
So, from a business perspective, if knowing the name of your customer improves their experience with your brand, increases retention and creates profit, then it’s definitely worth the trade-off. Here are a few tips for becoming a pro at the name game:
- Eliminate the awkwardness
We’ve all been at the receiving end of a Starbucks cup that says the wrong name. Whether it’s a name you haven’t heard before or it’s just loud around you, messing up on names is not fun. If you think you’ve got a name wrong or you’re having trouble saying, just ask. A quick “Am I saying this right?” or “Cool name! How do you spell that?” goes a long way.
- Once you get it, make use of it
There’s no use asking a customer for their name if you’re not going to use it. Once your customer has shared their name, make sure to address them with it for the rest of the encounter, without overdoing it of course. “So Alex, what can I get you today?” will automatically register the name with the face. This will help you keep the name in memory, creating a promising start to forming a loyal relationship. As they say: if you don’t use it, you lose it.
- Outsmart your memory
Our memory tests us the hardest when we see someone unexpectedly – for some reason names become extremely hard to remember after a while. To make sure your memory doesn’t fail you, try to associate the name with another word or noun. For example, if the client’s name is Sandra and she’s always carrying a camera you can associate her as “Sandra the photographer”. Having a mental image will make it easier to store and retrieve the association from memory.
- Get to know the person
It is much easier to remember someone that you had a genuine conversation with – customers will know if you’re trying too hard, and it’s a big turn off. The more you get to know someone, the easier you can form the kind of associations we’ve discussed. If you’ve noticed that Sandra always carries a camera, it may be worth your while to ask what kind of photographs she takes. When you become used to asking questions without being intrusive, getting to know the person behind the name, and transaction, will come naturally.
- Humanize Technology
There are lots of Customer Relationship Management tools that can help personalize your interaction with customers. 53% of marketers say that ongoing, personalized communication with existing customers results in moderate to significant revenue impact (DemandGen). Sometimes, remembering names in order to bond with customers is harder than it seems, so there’s no shame in applying humanizing technologies. This so happens to be one of our greatest strengths at Lucova – where we enable you to have customer names at hand in real-time, allowing you to focus on forming an authentic relationship with customers right from the start.