"I'm sorry Miss Sukhraj,” said the woman at hotel reception as I hung up the phone.
I was floored, and not just because I was struck by a falling blind in my New York City hotel room, but because this woman said my name flawlessly.
I didn't unpack it until later on, but that little moment meant a lot to me, as an individual and as a customer.
My last name, Sukhraj (pronounced S-ook-RAAJ), has always set me up for some awkward introductions professionally and personally.
And I understand. It isn’t a commonly heard or said name in the United States.
But that’s also why hearing it said perfectly by a stranger, especially amidst a customer service fiasco, was such a delight.
For once, I wasn't the girl with the weird, unpronounceable name. I didn't feel like an outsider causing confusion or discomfort. I was just another customer in need.
After I hopped off the phone that day, I smiled, shrugged off the blind and, simultaneously, my anger at the hotel. I was so delighted, I completely forgot why I was even upset.
With a new featureallowing users to add audio-clip pronunciations of their names to their profiles, LinkedIn is on its way to creating more of these small, but powerful moments in future sales, networking, hiring, or customer service conversations.
While, yes, saying someone’s name correctly is the polite thing to do, it can also make a hugely positive impact on the experiences your brand creates.
LinkedIn adds name pronunciations to user profiles
In the wake of the recent rise of racial conversations in the country, organizations across a variety of industries are doing what they can to be more inclusive and diverse.
LinkedIn’s latest update is one such change.
Earlier this week, LinkedIn Product Manager Joseph Akoni announced the platform will be adding the option for users to record 10-second audio clips pronouncing their names to their profiles. This is done in an effort to help others pronounce them correctly without having to ask.
Once recorded, a megaphone icon will appear next to the right of the user’s name as seen in the example from LinkedIn below: