Every once in a while I come upon an headline in my newsreaders that is so simple I just have to pass it along. When I saw the title "Six Most Effective Words in Client Service" I clicked to read more (the goal of every headline!). As a quickly skimmed the article, posted on CBS Moneywatch,
I realized that these six words should be trained (I can help with that wink, wink) and posted at every "call center" and recreation center counter in the universe. By making these words part of everyday vernacular -- many, MANY customer service dilemmas would be squashed at the onset, rather than elevated to conflict. The article (which you can read in its entirety here says:
"The goal, of course, is to make the customer as happy as possible with the service experience, even if the outcome isn't exactly as she had hoped for. It is, in fact, possible for a customer to have a positive feeling about a company even if she doesn't get what she wants. And that is where words make a big difference:
- People respond positively to words that are active rather than passive. There is a world of difference between "I can" and "I will."
- Words of genuine compassion and empathy suggest that you are not just carrying the company line or reading from a memo.
- Delivering those words in a cheerful, upbeat, and most importantly, natural manner(appropriate to the circumstances, of course) suggests one human being's desire to help another, not just an equivocal, noncommittal suggestion that something "may" be possible.
Here, then, in no particular order, are six active, enthusiastic, mood-altering, wonderfully human words that will dramatically change the way customers react to your conversations, e-mails and text chats. They are ridiculously simple, yet potent tweaks to the normally gray, predictably mundane language of customer service:
Of course, actions always speak louder than words and false promises will lead to complete lack of customer satisfaction, loyalty and retention. But whether it's good news, bad news, or simply passing on information, your choice of words will have a significant effect on the way the customer hears what you're saying, and consequently the way she feels about it and reacts to it.
What words do you LOVE or HATE to hear when you are a customer seeking assistance or help with a problem?