Customer names vs. customer numbers

I’ve noticed over the past couple of weeks that the sales and service teams almost always refer to customers by their names instead of their customer id.

Of course, we’ve moved the search facility for surnames out of the way but judging by how often it’s used we should bring it front and centre and add an index on that column. We should even produce a search-as-you-type style interface for it as most surnames do bring up a fair few choices.

I can only think it’s a good thing that the customer-facing teams think of the customers by names rather than numbers and we should remember that not everyone thinks like a techie. We’ve bandied around the idea of letting customers upload photos for their account and perhaps displaying these in the CMS would re-inforce the concept that there are people behind the list of numbers and settings. Even more useful, perhaps, is finding a way to put our service and sales teams photos in front of the users – reminding them that they are also talking to a person.

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