My name is James, it’s what my mother called me, it’s what my 2 sisters, my twin brother and my creaky old dad do too. I prefer James, but almost nobody asks before they call me Jim. I gave up trying to put people right years ago, but I do notice when someone bothers to find out what I like to be called. When they don’t just assume that they can call me Jim.
Customers feel the same kind of frustration when you use your own terminology instead of theirs. Studies show that by using language specific to your customer’s business, you can boost your standing and improve their perception of you as a reliable business ‘partner’, not just another cloned corporate sales type .
Are the human beings in your customer’s places of work called employees, associates, or team members? Is their ‘people’ department called Human Resources, Human Capital, or Employee Assistance? Do they call their business leaders managers, unit heads or something else. The difference might seems small to us, but it has a big impact on them.
David Ogilvy, advertising man and message maker extraordinaire said ‘I don’t know the rules of grammar, I speak and write like my customers, in the vernacular, that’s the language that they speak and the only language I should be using to communicate with them.’