With all my running and walking activities of late (I completed my fourth half marathon on last Saturday), I am having a bit of discomfort with my feet and my knees. So, I thought it would be best to see a podiatrist.
It’s so amazing how the universe works—as within a day or two after I mentioned this out loud, a longtime friend of mine sent me an email and randomly mentioned she was having foot issues and found a great podiatrist near where I live!
So, I immediately called the doctor’s office to set up an appointment. When the receptionist answered, the first thing I said was, “Who’s this?” That always catches people by surprise, but I have found it is important to refer to someone by name. The office manager’s name is Jan, and I thanked her for all her help in setting up my appointment for the following week.
I have a practice of always setting up any number I call for service or a business in my contacts. That’s because I’ve learned over the years that I will usually have to call them back again, and this saves me from having Post-its all around my work area, or having to remember their name, or having to look them up via Google. I also add the “label” for what kind of service they are in their Outlook contact. For example, in this case I wrote the word “podiatrist” in the contact, so if I need to call the person back, I am not having to remember the doctor’s actual name—I can just do a search in contacts for “podiatrist.” It has saved me tons of time searching for my plumber, my electrician, and even the cable company.
After I had set up the appointment, within a few days my work schedule went crazy and I suddenly had a work conflict with the doctor’s appointment.
So when I called the office to change my appointment, I said, “Hi, is this Jan?” I could tell the office manager was quite startled that I knew her by name. That’s because in addition to saving the doctor’s information in my contacts, I added the name of the person who answered the phone. I do that all the time—I add people’s spouses names, kids’ gender and ages, secretary’s name, etc. I learned long ago that the most important word to any person is their own name and recalling something about them personally always creates an instant connection.
Jan easily gave me a new appointment time. I could tell she was especially nice on the phone, as I made her feel important by using her name.
Have you ever done something similar to this? Perhaps asked a server at a restaurant their name when you are seated and then thanked them by name during your meal? Did they seem a little bit more attentive to you?
So, I hope the next time you make a new connection, that you will immediately add their name, email, number, etc. to your phone/email contacts. Believe me, it may take a little bit of extra time up front, but you will thank me later when you need to reconnect with someone.
Best practice 101.