Monthly Mash and Names as a Two-Way Street

Monthly Mash and Names as a Two-Way Street

Welcome to the Monthly Mash, a mashup of tools, tales and tips on customer service and the customer experience from around the blogosphere.

Volume 21: July 2013

Thoughts on the Customer: Names Are a Two-Way Street

The use of names when communicating with customers is one of the elementary foundations of great customer service. We all know how important it is to remember and use customers’ names. Dale Carnegie said almost 80 years ago…

“Remember that a person’s name is to that person the sweetest and most important sound in any language.”

And now modern science tends to confirm Carnegie’s assertion. Brain imaging studies actually show that our brain reacts differently to hearing our own names compared to others.

Monthly Mash and Names as a Two-Way StreetBut names are a two-way street, and it is just as important for our team members to give out their names when interacting with clients.

Using names with customers accomplishes two major goals:

First, it helps personalize the interaction and establish rapport. In business, we all know how important it is to personalize interactions and show that we care. The medical profession actually has data showing how important a personal connection and demonstrations of caring are in that field.

Second, giving a name to a customer automatically signals transparency and accountability. How do you feel when you deal with a customer rep who seems to be going out of their way not to tell you their name? That’s not how you want your customers to feel.

In the end, using names for customer service is simple:

Remember your customers’ names, and remember to give them yours.

The Month in Customer Service Blogging

A collection of the best posts about customer service and the customer experience we read this past month.

Someone Was Listening

Sometimes the most popular post from the previous month; sometimes just the one I liked best.

There are some customer service professionals who just have a knack for handling challenging customers. If your organization is lucky, you have a go-to person who can handle the toughest customer situations. In Who Is Your Customer Turnaround Artist?, we discuss ways to identify this person within your organization and ways to maximize their talent.


By Adam Toporek. Adam Toporek is an internationally recognized customer service expert, keynote speaker, and workshop leader. He is the author of Be Your Customer's Hero: Real-World Tips & Techniques for the Service Front Lines (2015), as well as the founder of the popular Customers That Stick® blog and co-host of the Crack the Customer Code podcast.

    Find more about me on:
  • googleplus
  • facebook
  • linkedin
  • twitter
  • youtube
5 replies
  1. Jayme Soulati
    Jayme Soulati says:

    Gulp. How do you attest for the elderly, ahem, who can’t remember a name if I’m slapped with it? It’s about focus; I see and recall faces always. I love faces and I explore them visually. The name? Not so much, well, unless I’m interviewing for a job.

    But that aside, agree! Because people like me walk the earth with more addled and topheavy full to the brim brain activity, when someone remembers my name, I am duly impressed!

    • Adam Toporek
      Adam Toporek says:

      I have the same challenge Jayme. Remembering names is definitely not one of my long suits, but it is still really important.

      It’s funny when people take it too far though. I’m sure, as I have, you’ve dealt with salespeople who used your name in almost every sentence. It becomes transparent at some point.

    • Carolin Geissler
      Carolin Geissler says:

      I’m not elderly and I have the same problem. I noticed that it helps me tremendously to repeat their name right after they tell me: “Hello Mr. X, how can I help you today?” For some reason, I can remember their names easier when I’ve said them already.


Trackbacks & Pingbacks

  1. […] Remember to use your customers’ names […]

Leave a Reply

Want to join the discussion?
Feel free to contribute!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *