Take a second to walk through the following example with me…
You have a seller who needs to move fast to sell his property. He’s got a job offer waiting for him on the East Coast, but to take it, he needs to get there – and he needs to get there yesterday! Knowing that he’s facing a time crunch, you go above and beyond to find him a buyer. You call in favors, put in extra hours at the office and bust your butt to find interested parties – all of which results in a property that’s under contract in just a week’s time.
At the closing, the seller thanks you profusely for your extra effort. You turn to him and say:
Big mistake! You don’t know it, but you’ve committed one of the cardinal sins of customer communications…
If you don’t yet see the error of your ways, stop for a second and think about the energy that words have. All words have energy and it can be positive, negative or neutral to varying degrees. The word “pleasant,” for example, generates a positive energy, while the word “violence” conjures up negative feelings. Words like “dog” or “couch” are more neutral (unless, of course, you happen to have good or bad memories associated with one of these things).
Because words have a certain energy attached to them, the way we use them has the power to convey feelings and emotions to the people we speak with. And in the example above, the specific phrasing of “no worries” or “no problem” in response to an expression of gratitude carries a decidedly negative energy.
If somebody tells you thank you and you turn around and say, “No worries,” you suggest that there may have been worries to begin with. You imply that your conversation partner should have been concerned about causing you worry – immediately positioning yourself as the party that stood to be wronged throughout your exchange, not as somebody who was happy to help.
Now, I know that’s not what you meant. I know you wanted the client to feel that you were happy to go out of your way to help him and that it was rewarding for you to help him make such an important move.
But the problem is, that’s not what your words are saying!
Knowing that words have power, one of the best things you can do to improve your customer communications is to drop the phrases, “no worries” and “no problem” from your vocabulary. Catch yourself before you speak these forbidden phrases out loud and don’t ever allow them to pass your lips again, lest you risk giving your customers and other business contacts the wrong impression.
Instead, you’ve got two far better options for accepting gratitude. The first is a simple, “You’re welcome.” It’s neat, it’s clean, it’s tidy and it’s to-the-point. There’s no room for misinterpretation when it comes to “you’re welcome,” and the use of the word “welcome” creates a pleasingly positive energy that gets your point across more clearly.
However, an even better option is to say, “My pleasure,” whenever somebody thanks you. The use of this phrase is heavily taught throughout the hospitality industry – and with good reason!
Saying, “My pleasure,” in response to the thanks you receive carries an incredibly positive energy that says, “Not only did it not inconvenience or hurt me to help you out, I actually enjoyed being able to serve you.” It says, “I like you and I’m glad to have been able to help” – reinforcing the positive bond that should exist between you and the people you work with.
If you don’t believe me, give it a try for a month. Swap out any instinct to say “No worries” or “No problem” and replace these phrases with the much more powerful, “My pleasure.” I guarantee you’ll see an immediate improvement in terms of the energy that exists in your customer communications!