Want Customers or RAVING FANS?

My son’s school has an interesting car pool system. At the beginning of the school year, each child was given a sign with their name on it and a suction cup with a hook on it. Before you get in the lane, you are to hang the sign on the hook. The purpose is to make it easy for the teacher to call the correct student out to get in the proper spot for the right car.

Keep in mind; there is a sea of cars driving in and out of the pick up line every day and a crowd of students to match. Here is the amazing thing. It is almost the end of the school year and most of the cars have long-lost their sign with their child’s name on it. With fluid ease the teacher calls out each child’s name as the vehicles pass by. Every now and then, she may ask a driver to roll the window down to get the right student name to call. Most of the time this happens if the parent is in a different car. This is so amazing to me. She knows each parent/child by name and she keeps the line moving swift. The child is safe and in the correct car. This type of person always stand out in the crowd.

In all of my years; I have noticed three things.

  1. People love to hear their name.
  2. Powerful and Affluent people know and call everyone by their name.
  3. Successful businesses build relationships with customers and engage them.

There is something powerful in a name. It makes you feel all warm and fuzzy inside to hear someone call you by your name. It electrified my day the first time I walked into the coffee-house and they addressed me by my name. Yes, they do ask everyone’s name when they are filling a drink order but not in my case. I was not asked for my name. On top of that , they knew what my favorite drink was and had it ready for me most days. They engaged me. They knew what I did for a living, asked me how my business and day was going and introduced other customers to me because they felt that I was a person they needed to know. The local coffee-house is now my favorite coffee-house. It is my community.

When you address people by their name and truly engage them, you will not just have loyal customers. You develop good friends and RAVING FANS.

Can you think of any brands, businesses or people that know you by name?

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One response to “Want Customers or RAVING FANS?

  1. Beautiful observation. I love being addressed personally! And I do try to address others personally as much as possible.

    One thing I have noticed, however, is that people have begun to use mail merge for email newsletters. I do not respond well to mass marketing disguised as personal email.

    If someone is going to email me and address me by my name, then I ask that they be sure to
    A. put what is actually my first name (as opposed to “ManishaMusic” or worse yet “Manisha Shahane”. I mean who says Hi Tim Smith, ?
    and
    B. that you type out at least something personal, even if you have to copy/paste some other information.

    So my recommendation is to address people by their names when you meet them in person and when you are really writing directly to them, but to address your mass newsletters more broadly to the group you are reaching out to.

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