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What’s in a name?

It may seem like a pretty small detail, but I believe what we name things has an important bearing on how well they are received and respected. My guess is that every customer advocate wants their customer listening program to be viewed as credible and important to their organization. And yet, I think they undermine their efforts if they don’t think about how they refer to their program.


Here’s an example. Some companies refer to their voice of the customer program as “the annual survey.” Seriously? Think about it for a moment. When you refer to your program that way you’re referring to one tactical piece of your program – the survey. If that’s all your program is about, it’s a pretty shallow program.


Other examples – Some refer to their program as the voice of the customer program, the customer loyalty program, the customer satisfaction program, or the customer listening program. While these are tad better, they still are so generic that they don’t inspire much interest or respect. They sound like a program that every company has.


What about something like The Customer Connection? You can even add a tag line, something like “connecting to the customer to bring more value.” Or, Customer IQ – understanding our customers.

The best options are ones that connect directly with corporate branding and strategy. One company refers to their program as Customers First. They take a step further by tying it to the branding and messages found on their website, in their materials, and even in their annual reports. These names bring meaning. They stand out. They help you build credibility for what you are trying to achieve.


Don’t get me wrong. A meaningful name is not going to magically transform your program and your own reputation. But it’s one ingredient that should not be overlooked. If you have a solid program, a good name will be a more accurate description for the value you bring to the organization.

About the Author

Patrick Gibbons

Patrick Gibbons

As Principal and Senior Vice President of Marketing for Walker, Gibbons has global responsibility for definition, branding, and promotion of the company and its solutions. Gibbons has published and/or contributed to a number of articles, papers, and blogs on customer intelligence topics and has a regular column in CRM Magazine. He has been a featured speaker at a wide range of conferences, and has produced a series of educational events for customer experience leaders.

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0 thoughts on “What’s in a name?

  1. Couldn’t agree more. My program for the Health Care industry is called ‘VitalSigns’ and it provides a convenient hook for conversation plus it underscores own importance every time it gets mentioned.

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