What’s In a Name?

Consultants are in business to help their clients. It’s important to relate to the client in a personal way. The first part of this relationship is about connecting to the customer by name. If the customer has an unfamiliar name, say it over and over again until it’s right. And remember how to say it. Sometimes, I make little tips for myself so in between contacts, I don’t forget. My first name is Ellen. It starts my business email address: ellen@earlychildinfo.com and my main social email address starts with the letter E. Yesterday, I was on the phone with a customer service/email/domain “consultant” who helped straighten out my email accounts. There are a few domains with emails attached to each. As the prices for email addresses have risen, it was time to prune, move, and otherwise work on them. We were on the phone more than ½ hour, talking about all of the email addresses, some of them starting with “ellen” and some starting with “e”. With all of the deleting, moving, and keeping, the name “Ellen” had to have been said more than 50 times, and other emails starting with “e” close to the same number of times. While she was waiting to make changes happen, she told me how making connections with people was so important to her. A few minutes after the phone call, she sent me the follow-up email she had told me about, to an email address which started with “e”, with the correct account and phone number. Imagine my surprise when I saw the greeting: “Hello Helen”! Here’s part of my reply to her: “My name, as in all of the emails we spoke about, is ELLEN, not Helen. Here's a tip: Customers don't usually notice you getting their name right, but they always notice when you don't. Yours, Ellen”

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