What’s in a name?

Express genuine interestEarlier this month, I stopped by Hooters for lunch. During my hour-long visit, my table was “touched” by three separate Hooters Girls (my server, Felicia, and two others: Lillie and Kassity) and the manager, Ben.

I don’t always do so well remembering names but they made it easy for me. Two of the servers signed a napkin at my table and all four employees were wearing name tags that were clearly visible. That’s not always the case in many establishments.

All that attention not only made me feel valued as a customer, it also made an impression on me. Instead of feeling like just another restaurant “cover,” I felt as though this dining experience had been personalized—like the napkin—just for me. The staff expressed genuine interest in me, the guest. It was unexpected and I was pleasantly surprised.

Providing and using names is necessary to establish rapport. And establishing rapport is necessary to build trust. And building trust is necessary to gain customer loyalty. And customer loyalty—and the future spending and referrals that come with it—is necessary for business success.

So, what’s in a name? Business success.