People don’t call folks serving them by name. Examples are restaurants, shops and public services. As a customer, I started addressing these folks by their name. So I either look for it on the tag or bill or just simply ask.
I needed an important document from my city’s office. At first, I was not welcome there but I built a rapport with the lady across the counter by this way. I got it in 2 days vs. 2 weeks and even signed for it later!
Calling someone by their name pesonalizes the experience for you and for her/him. An ex-landlord’s office manager let me backdate a letter to save me a month’s rent and "Ellen" at a PayLess let me freely borrow boxes for my move.
I liked Seth’s post The trend to "best available". In a certain way, the post reinforced some of my long held ideas:
1. Companies/Marketers haven’t a clue about Customer Service
2. There is no such thing as a "Customer"
3. Create your service experience-its why I might love a product you hate
3. Treat those folks like family and get more out of the deal/interaction