The Impact of Language In Customer Care, Part Two

In a recent blog post, I explored the power of language in the customer care space by dissecting the impact of negative transition words. I’d like to continue this conversation by exploring the impact of the phrases we use when closing conversations with customers.

After all, no matter whether we’re speaking over the phone, writing emails, or addressing customer care inquiries on social media, our use of language is constantly being scrutinized. If a phrase is seen as negative or a message is misconstrued, we risk damaging the relationships we’ve worked so hard to build with our consumers.

In fact, a recent article from Forbes.com explores this exact notion. The article, titled “Customer Service Experts Say ‘No Problem’ Is A Big Customer Service Problem–Here’s Why,” claims that the seemingly innocent two-word phrase Communicators often use when ending a conversation—“no problem”—is actually, well, a problem.

The author goes onto explain that when a Communicator says to a customer “no problem” it’s essentially insinuating that they’re causing a “problem”—and no customer wants to cause an unnecessary commotion; rather, he or she just wants to find an answer to a questions or receive help with a product or service.

To ensure that you’re Communicators aren’t offending customers, try to eliminate this phrase from their vocabulary and replace it with phrases, such as “you’re welcome,” or “my pleasure.” In doing so, you can end the conversation on a good note, as “welcome” and “pleasure” have positive connotations.

While letting “no problem” slip from time to time isn’t exactly terrible, the real takeaway here is in ensuring that Communicators are always using encouraging language. That is, controlling their language so that they can deliver messages, good or bad, in a way that won’t negatively impact the conversation.

Take the time to review and monitor your Communicators calls to ensure that they are making a concerted effort to speak optimistically to customers to ensure the utmost quality of customer care.

Steve Brubaker began his career at InfoCision in 1985. In his current role as Chief of Staff and as a member of the Executive Team, he is responsible for HR, internal and external communications, and manages the company’s legal and compliance departments. Brubaker is a member of a number of professional organizations, including the DMA and PACE. He also donates his time to serve on several university boards, including the Executive Advisory Board for The Taylor Institute for Direct Marketing at The University of Akron and The University of Akron Foundation Board. He has also been honored with a number of awards and recognitions for his contributions to the call center industry, including the ATA’s highest honor, the prestigious Fulcrum Award.