The Power of Using Names

Want a simple strategy that will help build stronger relationships with anyone you work or do business with? It really is simple. You already know it, but it is worth reminding you of it. It is… using names.

Several months ago I was invited to a beautiful resort on an exotic island (Nevis) to present my program at a business meeting. As I walked off of the plane there was a representative from the travel company greeting me, holding a sign with my name. As soon as she identified me, she started using my name. She helped me get a cab and told the driver where to take me.

While we were driving to the airport the driver asked, “Where are you from, Mr. Hyken?” It wasn’t the question that surprised me. It was that he used my name. We had a nice conversation on the way to the hotel.

Once at the hotel, the doorman greeted me by name. “Welcome to our hotel, Mr. Hyken.” It was obvious that the woman at the airport informed someone I was on my way.

When I checked in the person didn’t ask my name. She already had it.

The manager came out and introduced himself to me. He didn’t have to ask my name. He already knew it.

On the way to my room, the bellman used my name.

I met the housekeeper later in the day. When she greeted me she asked if she was pronouncing my name properly.

Every time I walked through the lobby someone from the hotel staff acknowledged me by name. And, all of this started with the person who met me when I arrived at the airport. She had put the system to work by simply letting someone at the hotel know that I was on my way.

This was a great experience. I was truly impressed. I can’t exactly describe how this constant use of my name made me feel, other than to say it was great. I felt more at home, more at ease, more comfortable – more of a guest than a customer.

It is obvious that the Four Seasons on Nevis has customer service down to an art. They are recognized as one of the top resort hotels in the world. It takes a lot of things, some big and some small, to be great. I would put using a customer’s name down as small thing. It is almost just a detail. But, sometimes it is the smallest things that make the great ones great.

© 2005 – 2015, Shep Hyken. All rights reserved.

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