Use of Full Names

Hello My Name is tag
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Use of Full Names

I have been told that I have to give my full name when I take calls. I am not comfortable doing this but have been told that I have to. Does anyone else disagree to this?

Question asked by rigilem

Depends on Company Policy

I don’t agree with the use of full names, however if it is a company policy then you will unfortunately have to do so as there are no laws (to my knowledge) that says that this is unreasonable.

With thanks to Amanda_R

I Don’t See The Problem

I don’t really see the problem with giving your full name over the phone. Generally we ask the people we are calling to confirm full names and addresses, I don’t think it is a lot to ask that we give them our name.

It builds a bit of trust with the person on the line and I have never heard of anyone that has had any backlash from giving their full name.

With thanks to foykeith

False Name for Angry Customers

I heard of one call centre that used to give out a false name for angry customers. So if anyone in the call centre was asked if the could speak to Jimmy or Jenny May they knew that there were likely problems ahead.

With thanks to Jonty

HR Perspective

Could it not be viewed as unreasonable from a HR perspective if the employee felt vulnerable giving out their full name in certain circumstances ?

With thanks to AndyC

Personal Choice

I feel the use of your name is down to yourself personally and if you don’t feel comfortable giving your surname then you shouldn’t.

The only time I give my surname out is when I am dealing with a customer who would like to talk to me again, as I would be there first point of contact.

We often find once a customer gets all your detail to quickly they tend to only want you to deal with them, which can become a issue when you work in a contact centre with many accounts and you maybe cross logged and not on that particular account again for weeks or even months, but the customer still request you.

With thanks to Anthony

Customer Perspective

I think the only reason why people ask for your surname is that they have been “burnt” by call centre agents not doing what they have been asked to do.

Last month I had a agent change detail on my o2 account and I did not get a surname. She did not do it and when I called back I was asked which of the 6 centre did I call, and then were told that the one centre I spoke to had 100 staff in.

I spoke to the supervisor and there is no way they can track back to see who the agent was so as a client I do feel that O2 could address this failure even if they want to.

With thanks to rikuslouw

Use an Alias

Perhaps you could use an alias name when taking these calls? As long as you use the same name for every call you handle and nobody else in your call centre uses the same name it should serve the same purpose as using your real name without invading your privacy.

Customers usually require a name so that they can ask for the same person again or reference them in any subsequent calls. Speak to your company and ask if an alias name is something that they would consider.

With thanks to MarketpointGlobal

Provide a Real First Name

I have heard of instances of when an agent has given a full name they have later found themselves researched on the likes of ‘Facebook’ and had negative consequences as a result of this.

Our understanding is that there is no legal obligation to provide a surname to a caller, but you should always provide a real first name.

With thanks to Nick

First name and Extension Number

I always offer my first name and extension number as my contact details. Most people are happy with this.

Unfortunately, having an unusual name makes me wary as I use sites such as Facebook and there are only 5 people with the same name as me on there. I would take the point up with HR as I would not be comfortable with this at all.

With thanks to momzilla

Come to an Arrangement

We recently tried to enforce advisors giving their full names when requested and had a lot of back lash from advisors. The main concern was them being researched on Facebook, particularly if they had an unusual name.

We looked at two ways of tackling this – Firstly it was to allow advisors who were uncomfortable to resume a permanent alias, for which managers would then keep an up to date spread sheet of any alias’ being used. Secondly it was for advisors to provide first name and log in pin number.

We opted for the latter option due to it being the most straight forward. Speak to your company and I’m sure you will be able to come to some arrangement.

With thanks to funpolice

Depends on the Situation

Where I work. A customer logged a complaint. Took a colleagues full name and subjected her to harassment through social media and sent her letter to her address.

If some one comes across in way that does not seem right. I will not give my surname especially as I am the only one with my name in the company.

With thanks to bigbuoy

Use a Pseudonym

I cannot see why you would not be permitted to use a pseudonym. Giving a full name can make customers feel at ease. At previous debt collection call centres that I have worked in, we allowed our agents to give a pseudonym.

As long as the company has a list of ‘who is who’ there should not be a problem. Agents should feel at ease as well as customers, especially in environments where you manage difficult customers.

With thanks to Jaybee

First Name + Agent ID

We have a simple policy is where our staff are First name + Agent ID number if customer wants to know them.

With only exception is Managers however our debt collection teams use Pseudonym names however we do employ a lot of Wilson’s & Smith’s family! However again on all our system every time somebody logs a note or access account it leaves there Agent ID number.

This changed after we had a customer bring flowers in and then it was something more serious to reason of picking the flowers up and walking down street with them.

You got to remember your staff safety. But some staff have surnames like Polizshyit and I hate to try spell that out every time somebody asks it.

With thanks to KrisUK

Author: Jonty Pearce

Published On: 12th Apr 2022 - Last modified: 5th May 2022
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