Can You Use Customers' Names Too Many Times?


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When I worked in guest services at The Ritz Carlton, I noticed some employees had a tendency to overuse guests’ names. Unfortunately, after a certain point, it worked in reverse. (Especially in conversations under 7 minutes)

Name overkill doesn't just happen in the hotel industry - it's everywhere. Sure, we know people love to hear their names more than any word in the dictionary. But there comes a point where customers are thinking to themselves, “Alright, I got it. You know my name. That's enough!"

Each point on this graph represents a single moment when a customer hears his name in a short (about 7 minute) transaction. Here's how it makes him feel:

A, nada - "They didn't even use my name once. I don't feel valued. "

B, once - “Ahhh. . . the cashier said ‘Mr. Lynch. ’ Man, you gotta love this store. "

C, twice - “Whoa! Two times! This salesman has a great memory. Now that's what I call service!"

D, thrice - “Alright (mild chuckle) - I got it. You know my name. Thank you very much. "

E, four times - “No, seriously, you don't have to keep using my name. The first two times were enough. "

F, five times - “This is ridiculous. And annoying. I no longer believe you are sincere. And now I've become uncomfortable. Please go away. "

Next time you walk into a store, hotel or place of business in which you have a short transaction, keep your ears open. Count how many times they say your name. Then you be the judge. Ask yourself: Did they say it too much?

© 2005 All Rights Reserved. _Scott Ginsberg is a professional speaker, “The World's Foremost Expert on Nametags" and the author of HELLO my name is Scott and The Power of Approachability. He helps people MAXIMIZE their approachability and become UNFORGETTABLE communicators - one conversation at a time. For more information contact Front Porch Productions at .


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