Prime the pump
May 24, 2019
How to learn and remember customer names

Recently, I went to an eatery and was taken aback when the sales clerk called me by name and asked what I was having. Although I had visited the business place a few times before, I had never conversed with anyone and had no idea that anyone knew me by name. My initial thought was “wow! She knows my name. Believe it or not, that move on her part created an instance connection and brought warmth to the usual “bland” interaction. In Dale Carnegie’s book How to Win Friends and Influence People, he said, “Remember that a person’s name is to that person the sweetest and most important sound in any language.” Therefore, one of the fastest ways to build a powerful relationship is by calling someone by name.

Calling a customer by name is a core concept in customer service training, but learning customers’ names isn’t always easy. In today’s article, we share tips to help you overcome the challenge of forgetting customers’ name. Jeff Toister of Toister Performance Solutions, Inc. recently shared some of those tips in a blog “How to Learn and Remember Customer Names”.

n Listen with Intention: If you ask someone’s name as a matter of courtesy, you may instantly forget it. Listen with the aim to remember.

n Repeat it: Repeating it a couple times immediately after hearing it will help to hook it in your memory. Example (Nice to meet you, Teshorne! Or, Enjoy the rest of your day, Teshorne!”).

n Ask How to Pronounce It: Expressing an interest in wanting to get it right will go a long way with the customer. Also, you are more likely to remember an uncommon name that you can pronounce well.

n Create an Association: Some people find it helpful to associate a name with a characteristic that describes the person. For example, Camille with Calm or Fern with Friendly.
Years ago, a dynamic salesperson was one who delivered a strong sales pitch. Today, a dynamic salesperson is one who makes customers comfortable and converses with ease. Businesses do not stand out because of what they sell, but because of how well they sell their products.

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