Who is that guy?
 
I wish he worked for me. I can tell by looking at him that I’d like him. He’d be fun to have a beer or 10 with. He has fun at work without being obnoxious.
 
Let’s get to the point.
 
What’s his name? You can see from his nametag that his name is Randy.
 
Alright then! We have a happy guy named Randy. So what?
 
Have you noticed that part of the trend AWAY from good customer service also involves concealing the identity of people who are supposed to be serving you? No, no, they of couse give you their name—“Hi, I’m Mandy, I’ll be totally screwing up your bank account for the next hour.” Or “I’m Manish and I will help you with your software problem. First I need to ask you a few questions. Are you running the program on a computer? Is the keyboard connected to your computer? Do you have electricty supplied to your home? You need to reinstall Windows. No, we do not include the CD with the $2500 laptop.”  Yada yada.
 
I’m talking about letting the world know that your business is operated by real people. People are nicer and more patient if they feel like they know the person they are working with.
 
Look at most websites. Unless they are a one person business they rarely have pictures of their actual people—with names. Why not?  I think it’s a great way to show your customers that you are not hiding from them.
 
My bank, Wells Fargo, has completely screwed up my finances. Some bonehead “upgraded” my ATM card to one of those fake Visa cards without telling me. I hate surprises. And the same bonehead shut off my regular ATM card. I immediately cancelled the fake Visa not knowing the idiots at Wells Fargo had killed my ATM card. Because there is no branch within 2 hours of my home or office, I have no way to make deposits. They promised to “rush” a new card to me—that was three weeks ago. Oh yes, when I last spoke with someone at Wells Fargo they told me there was a branch in Redding, California. I asked where they were. “Can’t tell you that.” Huh? Wells Fargo is operating from a secret location? Some ATM-card-killing bunker somewhere? I simply wanted to know if they understood how far Redding is from me.
 
Look. If you don’t hide from your customers you’ll be different. You’ll stand out. You’ll be outstanding. Get some REAL names and REAL pictures on your website and encourage your customers to deal with your REAL people and you’ll get more REAL business. I’m just me. Unless you to see the dogs I have to use stock images to convey the message that people are happier everywhere I go.
 
Notice how more and more CEOs are showing up in TV ads? It’s not because of their talent—it works because the business seems more real. Hair Club—I’m not only the President (I’ll bet you can complete the line)—Electric shavers? I liked it so much I…Henry Ford the XXVIIth or whatever is trying to convince us to buy a “new” Ford.
 
Except for that goofy Dr. Dieter that Chrysler tried—guess what? He really was the top dog at Chrysler. No wonder they were losing money. Don’t be corny, be real.
 
And if you have an exceptional employee, mention him on your website. Names. Use names. Have a problem? Well Johnny is the best wiring man in the business. Jenni can solve just about any shipping problem.
 
Want to talk business? Chris is happy to talk with you!
 
Chris Reich, Author of TeachU’s Business Talk Blog