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What’s In a Name?

As a newlywed, several people have asked if I plan to change my name – since getting married is one of the most common reasons why someone changes their name. 

Other reasons for a name change could be following a divorce, separation, or simply because somebody isn’t happy with the name they were given as a child. I have even read it is becoming increasingly popular for men to adopt their partner’s surname upon getting married (though surprisingly this has not come up in conversation with my new husband). 

There is some work involved with making a name change, including:

  • Decisions: Decide what my name will be (do I keep my middle name or change it to my maiden name?).
     
  • Activity: File for a name change with social security. Then fill out the paperwork to change my driver’s license, passport, bank accounts, magazine subscriptions, etc. 
     
  • Communications: Get the word out to colleagues, friends, and family.  

Over the years, I have had a few clients want to change the name of their program –  to names like Customer Feedback Program, Customer Viewpoint, Customer First, Delight the Customer or something else. Usually that has happened when the initiative is feeling a bit stale and needs to be refreshed. In those cases there is a lot of discussion to decide what the name should be, there is a lot of activity required to change the name on surveys, report templates, and email lists, and finally there is communication required to get the word out about the new name.

But, if you’re only changing the name, then you haven’t really changed the essence of the program. Other things have to change too. Delighting customers is now a strategic imperative for one Walker client. Getting the C-suite on board has impacted the level to which customer information is being acted upon. As a result, the identity of the program is truly being transformed – it’s more than a name change. There is a fundamental shift in how they are integrating the voice of the customer into their business strategy.

Do you have this level of support for your program? If not, now is the time to enlist the help of an executive sponsor. It raises the relevance of your efforts to a new level. If that is not possible in the short run, before focusing on changing the name of your program, consider other adjustments needed first, such as:

  • Communications: Your communications strategy
     
  • Delivery: How results are delivered, and
     
  • Training: The level to which your associates understand how to use the information

As for me, lots of things have changed in the past 5 weeks. I am now the wife of a wonderful man. I am a step mother (of two teenage boys!). And, we have moved into a new home. My life is certainly undergoing transformation at many levels – so yes, my name is going to change – along with a lot of other things too.

Kitty Connelly (soon to be Radcliff)
Vice President, Client Service

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