Don’t treat customers like numbers

Today I was out cycling with my daughter who has really come on a treat with her cycling this year. We were passing through a quiet residential road and came across a house called “Canopus”

“What does that mean Daddy?” asked Bethan.

“I’ve no idea.” I admitted “but it’s a nice name isn’t it”

Typical childish inquisitiveness Bethan continued “Why do houses have names Daddy rather than numbers?”

I stopped and had to think about that one as I’ve never been asked that question before. “I guess it’s a prestige thing Bethan, names sound better than a number. It makes their house appear better than it is and the owners probably feel more proud and important.”

And I started thinking about numbers versus names. How many of us have been asked by companies for our number, our account number, our reference number. I know it’s a sign of modern times but if we use names rather than numbers it might make the customer feel more important.

So next time you’re tempted to ask the customer for their number, have a think about what this really means to them and maybe can you get what you want from asking their name instead. I’m sure your modern computer system can cope.

And if anyone knows what “Canopus” means, do let me know because my daughter keeps asking me everytime we pass the house.