How To Remember Names – The Simple Secret Everyone Forgets

Do you speak to call centres?

I speak to call centres a lot.

And today over 2 separate call centres I spoke to 4 different people.

Now that is a quiet day because it was only a computer and internet connection problem I had today.

If I have to speak to the bank, check an insurance policy, deal with a utility problem or chase up the phone company (which seems to be quite a lot just lately) then I might be dealing with 4 or 5 different call centres and possibly double that amount of operators (given that inevitably I get put through to the wrong department).

I wouldn’t want to do their job and I take my hat to each and every one of them, especially the tech support folk who keep me connected via the internet and telephone networks.

They do a vital and difficult job dealing with idiots like me (and you too?) on a daily basis.

I would imagine that in the course of their work they must have the best handle on the how society is these days from the huge range of different people who they deal with.

It doesn’t matter if you are unemployed and pulling a fast one on the social security, a stay at home parent bringing up a young family or a high flying executive managing multi-million pound accounts because when you have to talk to the bank about your account, you have to talk to the bank.

And so these wonderfully resilient people on the end of the phone will certainly get the full spectrum of the social experience.

I don’t know about you but I want a swift response and great service from them and in return I think they deserve respect and politeness from us.

And if both sides of that bargain are kept then we are all happy.

So one thing you can do when you are on the phone speaking to someone locked away in a dark and dingy call centre somewhere (don’t believe the white walled, red carpeted, acres of room myths you see on TV) is to remember and use their name.

But what usually happens?

Well we are so impatient to have our issue sorted out and sorted out NOW that we forget the pleasantries and dive straight into demands.

A good call centre operator will tell you who they are when they answer the phone so the information is there to use.

So why don’t we use it?

Well the reason is we forget it because we never heard it in the first place because we were not listening.

It is so easy in those circumstances to simply continue the conversation to this faceless operator and get what we want.

These are real people with real lives just like you and I and so why not try and use their name.

You will be amazed by the results you get.

To use their name you have to know it and you will only know it if you listen at the start of the conversation.

But there is also more you need to do.

When you get the name, repeat it, check you have got it right and then use it.


Them:  “Hi this is XYZ company my name is Naveed, how can I be of assistance to you today?”

You:  “Hi.  I am sorry I didn’t catch your name could you repeat it please?”

Them:  “Sure it is Naveed”

You:  “Hi Naveed – did I say that right?”

Them: “Yes sir you did, how can I help?”

You: “Well Naveed, I am having this problem with”

And then throughout the conversation, you use their name and then at the very end you say something like:

“Naveed thanks for you help today”

It is that easy and not only will you have remembered their name for the duration of the conversation, you will have made someone feel that little bit more special than the average caller and guess what, you are more likely to find them favourable to your cause.

You could of course write their name down to help you remember it.

That would work, but you would be denying yourself the practice of getting peoples names the first time you meet them for real because the number 1 reason people forget the names of those they have just met is that they never got the name in the first place.

So here are the steps:

1.   Listen for the name

2.  Hear the name

3.  Repeat the name

4.  Clarify the name

5.  Use the name

6.   Use the name again

7.   Keep using the name

So practice on those poor call centre operators, get your name remembering skills up to scratch and who knows you may even start getting better service from those valiant guys and gals.