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.
But 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.
- Texas Hotel Fulfills Guest’s Ridiculous Request – It may have been a ridiculous request, but this hotel goes the extra mile to create a memorable customer experience.
- Video Will Save Your Customer Service Department – One of the coolest ways we’ve seen videos used for customer service yet!
- The 10 Elements of Great Customer Follow-Up – A great example of a well-executed customer follow-up email.
- Customer Complaints: How to Deal With Unhappy Customers [INFOGRAPHIC] – A look at customer complaints by industry.
- MIT Study: Even Loyal Customers Write Deceptive Reviews – This revealing study shows that loyalty does not always protect companies from negative reviews.
- Make Better Business Decisions by Conducting Consumer Research on Social Media – Tips for using social media to gather consumer data.
- From Angry to Awesome: An AirBNB Experience – An amazing service recovery that earned this hotel some serious customer loyalty. (Technically from June, but we just saw it. Also H/T to Chase Clemons for sharing!)
- Customer Service Is More Than Just Being Nice – A look at Ace Hardware and how helpful is just as important as nice.
- Is Your Customer Experience a Trade Secret? – A look at the effect licensing can have on customer experience and brand consistency.
- Is Good Customer Service Really a Good Investment? – The answer can be found from those who made MSN Money’s Customer Service Hall of Fame.
- The Obvious Marketing Money-Maker You’re Missing – Involving customers in your brand can help you make money and save money too.
- Customer Effort Score: How Hard is it to Be Your Customer? – Finally, someone else who loves the idea of a Customer Effort Score. Even if you don’t measure it, thinking about customer effort can improve your service delivery.
- Do You Project a Local Image So Customers Can Better Relate to You? – A business lesson in maintaining customer loyalty after a merger. This post reminds me a bit of when First Union bought Wachovia and kept the acquired company’s name.
- The Top 100 Most Social Customer Service Pros On Twitter – I was honored to be listed in Huffington Post’s list of social customer service pros on Twitter!
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.