The language you use with customers really does matter

I have this admittedly petty pet peeve when it comes to clerks in retail stores answering my, “Thank you,” with “No problem” instead of “You’re welcome” or “It was my pleasure.”  Okay. I’m nitpicking, I know. But the phrase, “No problem” indicates, to me  that I, as the customer, really did have the potential to be a problem for this establishment.  To my ears, it’s as if I had said to the person not “Thank you,” but “Boy, I’m really sorry to have been a burden to you in your store.”
What we say to our customers and how we say it does indeed matter. In this thorough examination of two common business phrases, we learn that customers respond to certain sounds differently than they do to other sounds.  The author’s conclusion here is that the phrase, “May I help you?” or “How may I help you?” may evoke a more positive feeling in the customer than the usual, “Can I help you?”

Discuss with your employees their manner of speaking and some general guidelines regarding how to greet customers and how to say good-bye to them.  A well thought out training program may turn up benefits you couldn’t imagine.  Secondly, a measurement program such as that provided by Customer Perspectives could be used to gauge the effectiveness of your training and identify where any lapses have occurred among sales staff.

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