We probably experience many customer service interactions every day. Not just at the convenience store, on the telephone, or in our workplace, but everywhere. Do you recognize that when you say, “no problem,” it might actually be a problem?
We learn about customer service at a very young age. Nearly everyone understands the importance of a smile, a friendly greeting, and making a difference for someone else. What are your practices though? Do you have the right habits?
When I was a teenager, I remember a popular phrase. It was used so often that I’m not sure its true meaning was really understood. Everything that happened, every time there was something going on that required a follow-up response we might have heard, “no biggie.”
People said, “No biggie” all the time. I guess it meant not to worry, no offense taken, or may be sometimes it meant, you are welcome.
Sometimes our habits are not just actions. They might also be words or phrases. Habits might represent a thoughtless response of jargon that we apply to more than one situation.
In customer service scenarios we might want to consider that the commonly used phrase, “no problem” might actually be a problem.
Consider some of these scenarios:
- No problem, I’ll call you as soon as I find out more information.
- If you have any trouble, just call me, no problem.
- We can fix that, no problem.
Have you ever considered that sometimes when we say, “No problem” the customer might feel that there actually was a problem?
Perhaps their interaction interrupted your other work. They might feel like they were asking for something special that was an inconvenience to you. Worse yet they might decide consciously or subconsciously that they don’t want to be a problem in the future.
Perhaps it is misunderstood. Maybe we should change that habit.
We could just as easily say, “You’re welcome.”
Dennis E. Gilbert is a business consultant, speaker (CSPTM), and corporate trainer that specializes in helping businesses and individuals accelerate their leadership, their team, and their success. He is a four-time author and some of his work includes, Forgotten Respect, Navigating A Multigenerational Workforce and Pivot and Accelerate, The Next Move Is Yours! Reach him through his website at Dennis-Gilbert.com or by calling +1 646.546.5553.