Calling Your Customer’s Name

whippoorwillAs a young boy I spent a lot of time with my grandfather. We spent hours together fishing, working in the fields, and telling tall tale stories around a fire. One of my favorite memories was sitting out under the stars in his backyard listening to night birds. In the area where I grew up we got to listen to the coo of doves, the screech of hawks and owls, the bay of a diving bullbat, and my favorite…the whippoorwill.

The whippoorwill got its name for his unique chirp, “whip-poor-will” with an emphasis on the first syllable. That’s what I know now, but as a kid, my granddaddy convinced me the bird was calling me, and saying, “Chip-fell-out-of-the-white-oak.” We had a lot of white oak trees in that rural geography. It was not until I went to first grade that I learned it was not likely all the birds in his woods knew me personally. Yet, I never forgot the feeling that came with that childhood belief.

The sweetest sound most customers enjoy hearing is their name. It is more than the attraction of personalization; it is the bond of a friend or neighbor. It signals a desire for a partnership, not just a relationship. It telegraphs caring, interest and a desire for a sustained fellowship. Lead with your customer’s name and create a memory as poignant and pleasurable as my memory of listening to night birds with my granddaddy.

Photo Credit: Jorge Montejo via Flickr

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  1. Are Your Customers 'Gluten Intolerant'? | Chip R. Bell Posted on August 21, 2018

    […] For a deeper look at personalization of your customer service, I invite you to click to Calling Your Customer’s Name. […]

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Dr. Chip R. Bell is a world-renowned authority on customer loyalty and innovative service. Global Gurus ranked him in 2018 the #2 keynote speaker in the world on customer service; #1 in North America. He also is the author of numerous national and international best-selling books including Take Their Breath Away, Managing Knock Your Socks off Service, Magnetic Service, The 9½ Principles of Innovative Service and Customers as Partners. His books have been translated into over a dozen languages.

His newest customer service book is the award-winning, best-selling book Kaleidoscope: Delivering Innovative Service That Sparkles.

Dr. Bell has appeared live on CNBC, Bloomberg TV, CNN, Fox Business, ABC, CBS, NPR Marketplace and his work has been featured in Fortune, Wall Street Journal, Financial Times, Forbes, Businessweek, Entrepreneur, Inc. Magazine, and Fast Company.


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