By Nancy Friedman, the Telephone Doctor
Think of all the items you use that have your initials or even your name on it. And have you ever given a gift and had a name or initials put on it? Most likely you have. Certainly, you’ve seen monograms on a variety of items. And, we know that many catalog companies encourage us to put a monogram on an item.
So, what does that have to do with customer service in your organization? Glad you asked. Has this ever happened to you? You’re in the grocery store pushing the cart to the checkout stand. The checker appears to do a good job, scanning your things. She (or he) tells you the total – $115. (The old I just went in for butter, milk and eggs.) You pull out the checkbook, make the check out for $115 exactly, hand over the check, and; NOTHING. Oh, wait. Something did happen. The bagger asked you if you would like paper or plastic.
What didn’t happen here was no one MONOGRAMMED or used your name during the event. You gave the checker your check – WITH YOUR NAME ON IT (address & phone number too) and she still didn’t monogram the event. She didn’t use your name. She had it – but didn’t use it. Had you given her cash, you might have been more understanding. (We seldom, if ever, put our name on cash.) Yes, you gave her your name; and she didn’t use it!
Know the name? Use the name! It’s that simple. When you’re lucky enough to be given the customer’s name, please use it. It makes the entire transaction a little friendlier, a little easier to handle and it shows you care.
The difference is very apparent. I was in line to board a plane the other day and the person taking the tickets used the name of every single passenger. And yes, with a big smile. Because it’s done so rarely, it made a big impression on me. Hey, I gave her my name; and by golly, she used it.
On the telephone, you won’t get handed anything with a name on it, but chances are you’ll have every opportunity to get a name and then use the name. You’ll be able to ‘monogram’ the call.
Listening skills come into play here as evidenced by something that happened to me recently. I made a phone call, introduced myself and the reason for the call, and the next thing out of the person’s mouth was: "NAME?" I told him, it was still "Nancy." I hadn’t changed it from 7 seconds before.
So the question becomes, "What do we do when someone gives us a name and we miss it?" Good question! And Telephone Doctor has a great technique for getting that name you missed. It’s easy. Someone gives you their name and then continues on with the conversation. Unless you’ve written it down, you’ve probably forgotten it. So we take control of the call and say, "I know you said your name, and I apologize, I missed it. My name is Nancy. And you are?” What we’ve done here is take responsibility of the situation. And we covered the objection ahead of time. Admitting they said their name and yet we did miss it. It’s a crowd pleaser; let me tell you.
So, remember – KNOW the name? USE the name.