Using someone’s name is a customer service trick anyone can use to personalize and warm-up the customer or patient experience. Why? Because something magical happens when people use your name. That second or two that it takes someone to first notice and then use my name makes me, as a customer, feel appreciated and valued. That little attention to detail makes me feel like they’re glad I’m there. But in order to be really effective, it can’t just be a random act of kindness performed by a few employees. It must be hardwired as a “play” in that organization’s “Playbook” so that every employee uses a guest or customer’s name in every interaction, whenever possible.
Random Acts of Kindness
At my local nail salon, which sees hundreds of customers each month, the woman that does my nails always greets me by name when I come in. Recently, there was a new person at their front desk who didn’t recognize me. I noticed she looked at the check-in sheet as I wrote my name so she could use it throughout my visit. I’m curious if this was a one-time thing or was this “hardwired” in their Nail Salon Playbook so that every employee did the same thing?
At a Macaroni Grill our family visited a few years back, our server wrote her name in crayon on the giant sheet of white paper that serves as the table covering. She did that to help us remember her name. But then she did something else. She encouraged my young daughter to write her name on the paper too, using as many colors as she could. This was fun for my daughter but it also helped our server personalize her experience because now she could say, “Bridget, would you like apples or french fries with your chicken?” or “Would you like more lemonade, Bridget?” It was a wonderful treat for my daughter, but I couldn’t help wondering if this was something that only this one server did or did all the servers do it, too?
Jake shared a story from the road where he and some of our team were grabbing a bite to eat at an airport restaurant. Their server was friendly and knowledgeable server and she took the time to recommend some of her favorite appetizers, which she thought they would enjoy. When it came time for the bill, Jake placed his credit card in the folio. She processed it and returned it to him saying, “Thank you for dining with us today, Mr. Poore ~ hope you all have a safe flight home!”
The whole table smiled and thanked her. Noting and appreciating that she read his name on the credit card and then used it, Jake said, “Well thank you. You know your tip just went up ten percent!” He asked her if everyone there did the same thing? “No,” she said. “I’m from a small town where everyone knew everyone else and of course we all knew each other’s names so we greeted each other that way – it’s just something I like to do.”
Turning Random Acts of Kindness Into Business As Usual
We can agree that using a customer’s name is a nice thing to do. But what if every employee did it? Imagine how that little spark of kindness and customer service would multiply for the customer, patient, or guest? You establish this consistency through a department playbook – check out Jake’s video here on what a playbook is and how to create one. After that, you’ll be ready to create your own play so every employee or every member of your care team is using customer and patient’s names and turning random acts of kindness into business as usual.