Positive customer experiences bring customer satisfaction

190Companies need to find the customer point of view through words and phrases. Sales and service personnel want to sound positive, helpful, appreciative, respectful, inviting, and informed. We don’t want to get too technical, but we do want to improve the customer experience and say what customers want to hear.

A customer experience isn’t necessarily customer satisfaction, but our word choice can make profound impacts. Instead of “We’re out of that product now,” the innovative and positive response would be, “I can order that product for you today.” Instead of asking a teenager who walks into a hardware store, ” What do you need kid,” a respectful sales representative should ask a customer regardless of a nose ring or a purple streak in his hair, ” How can I help you?”

In the case of an angry customer who a perceptive customer service representative recognizes, a calming phrase such as, ” I do understand the inconvenience you have faced, and I am pleased to assist you. I want to help.” goes a long way to open up the lines of communication. At this time, you will want to listen closely, agree there is a problem, and work on a resolution most beneficial to the customer. A calm demeanor and the respectful responses can diffuse a volatile exchange and the loss of a customer. I have even noticed when I am working on the phone with customer service representatives that the ones who say, ” Do you mind holding two or three minutes while I access your records so I can serve you better?” maintain my interest and patience since they are essentially asking for my permission to place me on hold instead of the “please hold” operator who has taken it to be her right to be rude.

And as far as “words” and “phrases” that reflect a company’s culture, who can dispute the particular lingo necessary to order a drink at Starbucks? If you know the terms, it decreases waiting time for you and others behind you. It’s almost a language all to itself, but the smiling employees, their productivity,  and their enthusiasm has built a connection, loyalty and sense of belonging. Even their drinking cup size names are unique to Starbucks; short, tall, grande, and venti. The combinations are almost endless what you can order from a hot brewed coffee to espresso shots, and to even steamed at lower temperatures. It’s about the words; it’s about the culture, and it’s about people relating to people in the best possible ways to keep us loyal.

photo credit: Stuart Conner