Suzi Shopper: The Many Benefits of Employee Name Badges
A badge of honor – a name badge that is. These are commonly used in most retail establishments, and I as a consumer take advantage of them regularly. I much prefer using a person’s name rather than “hey you” or “oh, miss” – although many years ago, I met a young waitress at a restaurant in Vegas with exactly that on her name badge—“Oh Miss”—funny.
Anyway, I was at a local retailer last night, and while I was checking out, both workers at the POS recommended another business to me. When I told the owner of the business that he had been recommended, he asked me for their names, but unfortunately, I couldn’t provide that information. Why? Because neither of these very friendly, very helpful employees had been wearing a name badge. If they had, I would not only have used their names when I interacted with them, but I would have been more likely to recall them the next day (in one of my previous blogs, “Suzi Shopper: Customer Service Lessons Learned in Furniture Assembled at Home,” I talked about people being visual learners. I think this holds true for badges as well), and the owner of the recommended business would likely have at least thanked them for their recommendation.
There are actually some very compelling reasons to have your employees wear name badges:
- They establish a more personal connection between the customer and employee, which improves the customer experience and (hopefully) increases the chances they will shop at your store again. NOTE: If you include the city/state/country below the employee’s name, it can be another point of personal connection or a conversation starter.
- They help identify the employees from the customers. It has been the source of confusion and embarrassment for me when I asked a salesperson for help, only to find out they didn’t work there. Now, to avoid that problem, I find I simply don’t ask for assistance. What kind of customer service is that?
- They make it easier for the customer to recall an employee’s name if they later wish to compliment or complain about that employee, so you can reward or correct behaviors.
- As I mentioned above, they make referrals easier, which can benefit you and other businesses.
- They can help avoid awkward moments. How many times have you been introduced to someone and immediately forgotten their name?
- They’re just a much easier and more polite way to get their attention than “Hey,” “Excuse me,” etc.
Even though ArcherPoint is not a retail company, we make it our policy to wear name badges, not only at trade shows and conferences, but customer sites as well. We want to be remembered, and we want to establish personal connections as often as possible. Getting to know someone by name is one of the best ways to accomplish that goal.
Whether you’re a retailer or not, name badges a small investment with big rewards. Do you provide name badges, and is it a requirement that they be worn?