Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Customer Service Language - Missing in Action

Customer Service Language

Please, thank you and you’re welcome - are missing in action.

Language influences perceptions. Perceptions determine understanding and misunderstanding and hence beliefs. And people decide based on their beliefs.

People decide to buy or not – to praise or vilify – to support or shun.

Powerful leaders have fostered revolutions with their choice of words.

Carefully chosen words move people.

Then why do so many customer service managers not pay more attention to the words that their front line customer service staff uses?

Here are three simple yet powerful phrases that seem to be painfully vanishing from customer service language.

The bank teller stated, “Swipe your card and enter your PIN.” It sounded like a command – not a request. The word, “Please”, was sadly missing. I dutifully complied.

Thank you
You made your purchase and pay your bill. The clerk neglects to say “Thank You”. You wait for your change and without thinking you respond with “Thank you” after the clerk gives you your own money back. If you thought about it – you would realize that you just thanked someone for giving you back your own money – yet they never thanked for giving them a job by making your purchase. Who should be thanking who?

You’re Welcome
You thanked someone – deserved or not. What do you expect to hear? How about, “You’re welcome.” What do you hear? “No problem.”

What’s the difference? The first is a positive, cheery and encouraging comment. The second is negative, diminutive and dismissive. Imagine the difference between a doormat that says “Welcome” and one that says “No Problem”.

If you want to convey superior customer service – use these three simple phrases.

Please - thank you - you're welcome.

You'll be standing out from the masses.

George Torok
Marketing Speaker
Motivational Business Speaker



katty said...

Although excellent customer service seems like a pretty basic tenet of running a business, it seems to be forgotten or over-looked by many business owners. Those simple phrases are definitely important and a part of good customer service.:) Anyways, thanks for sharing!
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Pauline Ong said...

When replying to a thank you, it is even better to say: 'YOU ARE MOST WELCOME, SIR / MA'AM.' or 'MY PLEASURE, SIR / MA'AM.'