Almost every community bank will boast that they know their customers by their names. But do you really?

And do you teach your bankers to go further than just recognizing familiar faces and say customers' names out loud? It might be a little old school - but it will be music to their ears.

rule #6

Dale Carnegie’s Rule #6—published in 1936—is “Remember that a person’s name is to that person the sweetest and most important sound in any language.” It’s true. When your bankers are talking to a customer, a supplier or each other, using their names builds bridges.

“uh-huh” and “yeah okay”

Beyoncé knows it, too. In 1999, Destiny’s Child reinforced what Dale told us long ago. “You’re acting kinda shady. Every other word is 'uh-huh, yeah okay.'" The mega hit was “Say My Name.”

Beyoncé and Dale have a lot in common. They understood the power of a name.

My name means everything. Uh-huh means nothing.

it's never old school to make someone feel good

You make individuals feel noticed, included and valued when you say their names. Here are 3 easy ways to do just that:

  1. When they arrive for an appointment—it’s easy to look at the calendar and find the visitor’s name. Say “Hello, Julie! I’ll let Patrick know you’re here.” Easy as apple pie.
  2. When they call on the phone—they’ve probably identified themselves already. Teach your staffers to write that name down immediately. Then repeat it back. “Thank you for calling, Julie. I’ll transfer you immediately.” Bonus points for wrapping up with a branded message.
  3. When they visit a branch—use the technology in front of your eyes. When you’re conducting a transaction, it’s easy to know who’s in front of you. Even if you can’t recall her name when she walks up, by the middle of your conversation you know. Take advantage of the opportunity to say, “I appreciate you taking the time to stop by, Julie. What else can we do for you while you’re here?”

Though it may seem old school, saying customers’ names aloud is an endearing—and often underused—habit to have in this hurried, modern world. It will make all the difference between a transaction and a relationship. 

Calling all community bankers: do you really know my name? If you need help creating more endearing relationships within your institution, call Martha direct: 785.969.6203.