We all want to feel known: “The Norm Principle of Customer Service”

We all want to feel known by Myra Golden
We all want to feel known, a photo by Myra Golden on Flickr.

I sit down with all of my clients before a keynote address and I ask them to define 3 things they want the audience to walk away with after my keynote. Yesterday I sat down with the CEO of a Chicago company and listened with great fascination as he described his top 3 take-aways from my presentation. He called one of his take-aways the “Norm Principle.” The “Norm Principle,” he said, is from the sitcom “Cheers.”

CEO: “You remember Cheers, don’t you, Myra?”

Me: “Of course I do.”

CEO: “When Norm walked into the bar, everyone knew his name. People looked up and acknowledged him when he walked in. The bartender already knew what he was drinking. Norm was ‘known.’ That’s the main idea I want you to get across in your keynote. Everybody wants to feel known. Everybody wants to feel welcome. I want the audience to go out and make their customers feel ‘known.’”

I LOVE the Norm Principle! The CEO was right on target and what a memorable concept: the Norm Principle. I will deliver that charge to my audience when I speak at my client’s conference this fall. In the meantime, I challenge you to work to make your customers feel KNOWN. How do you make customers feel known? Consider the following example from Starbucks.

Last year when I pulled up at the Starbucks drive-thru, the employee said, “Good morning. Welcome to Starbucks. Are you having your usual today?” Baffled, I asked, “How do you know what my usual is?” The gentleman said, “I recognize your car.” Apparently that Starbucks location has cameras at the drive-thru ordering speakers. (I was at the first window, not the second.) Not only do they have cameras, but also they take the time to remember what regular customers order. Starbucks made me feel known. Get creative and think about how you might make your customers feel known and welcome. When you do, you’ll create a warm and memorable customer experience.

Interested in having me deliver a customer service training or a customer service keynote at your company? We need to talk. Visit my website and take a look around. Then call my Assistant, Jamal, and we’ll see if I’m a good fit for you.


How I Build a Keynote Presentation
My Keynote at Lambeau Field in Green Bay on “Super Bowl Customer Experience”
Aubrey at Starbucks Impressed Me This Morning
What a Myra Golden Training is Like