4 Great Reasons to Use Name Tags…and Names

Most employees in retail environments wear name tags, right? When they are wearing one, does it prompt you to use their name?

In my experience, I’ve observed that most people don’t, and I’ve often wondered why. It seems that striking up a conversation that includes the other person’s name would be a lot more fun and satisfying, especially for them.

On the other hand, I have to admit that I’m guilty too. Up ’til now I’ve rarely used the information offered on name tags to help lighten my conversations with retail and service personnel.

This discussion around public name usage and name tags started up today while I was at my favorite local UPS Store. Terri Messer, the owner, and I were talking about an inquiry I’d made about buying some name tags for myself.

There are certain speaking and training venues where it makes sense for me to wear a professional looking name tag. I had decided it was time to get a couple of different styles ordered.

As we talked, I mentioned to Terry that by my second visit to her store, I had noticed that she and her employees were calling me by my first name. It had made a big difference to me. Not only was I getting great service, but I felt cared for too.

She went on to tell me a couple of other stories about the impact of their conscious efforts to learn and use customers’ first names. To some, it had made an important difference in their relationships with the store.

As our conversation continued, we flipped it around and pondered why customers don’t take more advantage of what’s provided on the name tags of store personnel. Both of us agreed it would most likely yield positive results.

With this in mind, I would suggest that there are four great reasons to leverage what’s on a name tag to help you connect with the wearer:

  • First, it’s good manners. As Ralph Waldo Emerson said, “Good manners are made up of petty sacrifices.” Why is it good manners? See the next bullet!
  • Second, it’s kind and it makes the other person feel special. As Dale Carnegie points out in his classic book, How to Win Friends and Influence People, “The name sets the individual apart; it makes him or her unique among all others.”
  • Third, it’s easy. The name tag has all the information required. All you need to provide is the initiative and the energy.
  • Finally, the importance of your need may be elevated if you use the other person’s name. Wouldn’t that be nice? Better service because you were kind and thoughtful. Not a bad return on your investment.

I’m sold. It’s time to for me to start making better use of name tags and names out in the world.

I’ll be sure to let you know how things go. I’d enjoy hearing the same from you!

“Remember that a person’s name is to that person the sweetest and most important sound in any language.” Dale Carnegie (American author)

Question: How do you leverage name tags and names to help you connect with others?