Have you ever been around someone and every time they said a specific thing, you shuddered involuntarily?
So, I have this one coworker (Incompetent, if you are a follower of my workplace woes). And she’s the only Sharon in the office (obvs pseudonym). And for the professional people we speak with, I always leave my first name as a professional courtesy. And for regular people, I don’t really leave a name at all. But if anyone calls in, any one of us should be able to assist. This was the original goal for folks answering calls instead of having to transfer people all over the place. But if it’s a professional person, who I’m expecting a call from, I always leave my name.
Plus, I don’t want anyone internet stalking me, or real life stalking me.
I kind of look at it like when I worked for DirecTV — I gave my first name, but wasn’t allowed to give my last name. Because if I told them something they didn’t like, they could use my first and last name and stalk me. And I have a pretty unique name.
Or when I worked regular customer service in a brick and mortar store. No one needed to know my last name. I was the person who was finding their shirt or ringing them up. They cared for a full two minutes about our interaction, then forgot all about me.
Even online customer guides caution about reps giving their last name:
Some customer service reps agree that providing their first and last names threatens privacy and sets them up for possible trouble. We all know the cranky, creepy customers who are having a horrible day and need to take it out on someone else. No matter how good our customer service skills are, there are folks that just try to drag others down with them. We don’t quite know what lengths they’d go to, though. I know I’ve had some of those creepy customers tell me they are trying to find me on Facebook. I kindly let them know that I don’t have one…
There is also the debate that providing your first and last name automatically assigns responsibility for that customer. You are officially taking ownership, the customer knows it and you know it–your name becomes linked with this situation.
We’ve heard some companies feel more comfortable by using the first name and first initial of their last name to protect the identity of the representative. Even if you ask them over the phone what their last name is, the rep will not share it with you. Does this then take away from a positive customer experience?
Some members of the customer service team may not mind, especially if their names are more common, however, others with more unique names, may want to protect their identity. How do you accommodate each member of your team, depending on their privacy preference? Or, do you just let them know going into the job, that their first and last name will be provided and if they have issues with this, to not take the position?
But Sharon not only leaves her first name, but her last name too. With everyone. Even the average Joe that randomly calls in.
She’s the only Sharon in the office. She doesn’t need to leave her last name to distinguish her from any other Sharon in the office… because there’s not one.
And I know that seems silly… but not only does she leave her last name….
She spells it. On every voicemail she leaves, professional people, random people… everybody.
And it’s not like it’s a hard to spell last name.
Every time, “F-L-O-W-E-R-S.”
Sharon is convinced that everyone needs to know who she is.
And, I mean. My first name can be difficult for people — “Caroline”, “Carolyn”, “Cara Anne”, “Coraline”, “Corrine”. So, sometimes I just give my last name, especially to baristas and order takers. And even then, they still don’t spell it right.
And I don’t get my panties in a wad over this.
All she needs to say is “This is Sharon”. She’s the only one in the office. If someone calls and asks for Sharon, we know who that is. If someone calls in and says to a supervisor that Sharon was rude, they know whose door to knock on.
So now, when she says her last name and then spells it, I involuntarily shudder.
It happened yesterday in a meeting with our higher ups, when she introduced herself, then spelled her last name.
Also just the sound of her voice now makes me cringe.
This isn’t just a me thing, right?
Anyone else’s coworkers do anything that makes you involuntarily shudder?