I got an email from my bank the other day that started “DEAR NONE”.
The last time I checked, that wasn’t my name. If my bank doesn’t know my name, I start to get a little worried. After all, my name is tied to my money at that same institution.
Your online marketing and efforts will have many places where you can greet the customer by name. This may be in an email or on the customer’s online account screen.
If you are going to call a customer by name, make sure you call them the right name.
My bank’s example above highlights what can happen when a programming error (can’t find the name) makes its way to a document the customer sees.
Make sure your applications and emails can detect when a name isn’t found, isn’t available, or another error happens and then don’t use the customer’s name.
In case of emergency, it is OK to be generic by omitting the name altogether or even starting with the “dear valued customer” salutation. Granted, you don’t want to use generic greetings all the time, but they can fill in when something isn’t working right.
Do you know your customers’ names? Use them wisely and it will positively personalize the experience. Use them poorly and they detract from the customer experience.