Better Customer Engagement

Here are three simple things that you can do If you want to create better customer engagement. These are tips that will help you build a relationship with your customers and improve the way that customers will communicate with you.

1. Leave a message that ‘works’

About 3 or 4 times this week, I have been unavailable on the phone. So people have been leaving me messages on my message bank. But when I listen to it I can’t hear their names and they are repeating their number incredibly fast. So I can never really grasp what they are saying.

When you leave a message for a customer, you want them to call you back so you can do business. Your aim here is better customer engagement, so here’s what you’re going to do. Next time you leave a message in your customer’s message bank, you’re going to say your name and your number. Say it slowly and repeat it. Make sure that you leave your number at the beginning of the message. Because, when people are really busy and don’t have time, they are not going to listen to the whole, long winded message. to get the phone number. 

Plus, if they didn’t catch your number the first time, they don’t have to listen to the whole message again to get it. You’re more likely to get them calling you back because they quickly listen to your phone number. 

2. Say your name last

Research has shown that if people speak to the same person each time they make contact with a business, they are more likely to maintain that relationship with the business. Even if they’ve never met the person, it becomes a name at the end of the phone. Customers like to speak to somebody familiar. For example, you have your favourite person at the coffee shop or a restaurant – a person that you like to talk to every time you want to do business.  The key to building this relationship is ensuring the person on the end of the phone knows and remembers your name. 

Typically, people would answer the phone and say, “Good afternoon, this is Barbara you’ve called The Hinwood Institute” or “This is The Hinwood Institute, Barbara speaking”. They always put their name at the beginning of their sentence. However, the last word that you say is what the customer remembers. They won’t remember your name. So what you need to do is say “Good afternoon, The Hinwood Institute. This is Barbara.” 

It does take a bit of rewiring in your brain. But by putting your name at the end, they remember your name. People buy from relationships. They buy from people and the rapport that they have with people. So putting your name at the end while answering your phone can be really powerful for creating better customer engagement.

3. Use the customer’s name 

The sweetest sound to a customer’s ears is their own name. The more that you can use a person’s name, the more engaged the customer will be. 

So when I’m doing professional development training, it’s not uncommon for me to draw a map of the table and put down people’s names as they introduce themselves. I’ll also repeat their name when they are speaking to me. I will say “Thanks Denise, thank you for sharing. Lovely to hear what you contributed there Denise, and we will definitely address that for you in the training.” 

So you’ll notice that I’ve said that person’s name two or three times. Not only does it help me remember, but it also helps them feel engaged. When I look at the map of names I have, it helps me converse with them more personally. In turn, my customers feel heard and valued. So when I get feedback, it will most likely be positive. This is because of the connection I have by personalising the conversation for them. This is purely because I am using her name in conversation. 

Using people’s names is a really powerful tool to fast-track the rapport you create with them. If you’re not face-to-face, take down their name as soon as they say it on a call. Keep using their name on the phone because you’re going to get a better outcome doing that. You can turn a complaining or enquiring customer into a ‘money-paying customer’. 

These are three simple things that you can do straight away to create a better customer engagement. These are easy methods to create stronger connections based on how you speak on the telephone. Those small things can make a big difference to the outcome of your business. If you’ve got some other small and useful tips like these, I would love to hear them. 


  • Speak slowly when leaving a message 
  • Leave your number at the start of a message 
  • Use the customer’s name in conversation. 


  • Don’t leave fast and unclear messages to your customers 
  • Don’t leave your number at the end of a message 
  • Don’t forget to personalize your conversations

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About the Author:

Barbara CliffordBarbara Clifford (The Time Tamer) is a co-founder of The Hinwood Institute. She is the lead trainer and coach in Time Management. She is a recognized leader in Stress Management. An experienced coach, speaker, columnist and facilitator, Barbara’s work with The Hinwood Institute assists people to unclutter mess, make order from chaos, and swap the shackles of overwhelming for freedom. Barbara’s clients move from the relentless hamster wheel to waking inspired, motivated, making decisions with purpose and achieving peak performance. She lives in the desert of Alice Springs, Australia working with people around the country.

Her professional experience has included contracts with small business, Not For Profits, Aboriginal Organisations, Media, Marketing, Aged Care, Universities, Health Services and Cruise Ships