Customer Service: Say This, Not That
April 6, 2016 11:01am
By Jana Love
In an economy where the customer is becoming increasingly more demanding and competition is all around you, what can you do to stand out and give your customers what most are missing and many don't have? There are a million pages of research that shows that the customer values good customer service, even more than the quality of the products and services themselves. So getting it "right" seems more compelling than ever. Should you get it "wrong," any efforts made for improving your service are for nothing.
I am a tough customer, I will admit it. Nothing frustrates me more than spending money for a sub-par service experience. A phrase that gets me every time I hear it, and sadly, I hear it all too often at the conclusion to a transaction, is "Have a nice day," vs. "Thank you for your business." This is clearly a training issue. "Have a nice day," is a very nice statement, if delivered in the right manner. However, it seems that in the consumer world, this statement has replaced, "Thank you!"
So how do you stand out and deliver something very few businesses deliver with success? Consistent positive language! Here are some "say this" phrases that should become standard in all service conversations.
Say this, NOT THAT:
Read the situation and respond accordingly. For example, say someone is at a pharmacy buying Kleenex and cold medicine and clearly sounds and looks sick, a better response than a cheery, "Have a nice day!" would be a sympathetic, "I hope you feel better soon." Another example that happens all too frequently, when something is incorrect, acknowledge the mistake by saying, "I’m sorry for this error. I will look into this, and I will call you back with an answer (and give a time frame)," instead of just, "I will get back to you."
Service providers should challenge themselves with testing whether (or not) the language used with their customers is sending the right positive messages and leaving the right positive impressions. A little focus will go a long way, and remember, it's an easy fix that makes a noticeable difference and can set you apart from your competitors.
This is such an important topic, that we're going to begin running these Say This, Not That examples in this blog from time to time, so stay tuned for more quick word choice tips.
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After a successful career in Sales and Marketing with Marriott International, Jana Love, co-author of the ProLearning Blog, founded ProShop Evaluation Services, Inc. in 1989. At that time, the company’s primary focus was mystery shopping of Sales/Catering and Reservations Departments. In 2002, she rebranded and refocused her company, becoming ProSolutions, LLC, and expanded the company’s services and models to include a wide variety of consulting, training solutions, pricing research, and performance improvement options. Jana’s passion behind the company’s tag line, “The Total Customer Experience Company” is truly what drives the business culture. As the President and CEO, she leads her team in all efforts, which includes offering customized solutions to all of their customers.
Contact: Jana Love
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