Friday, April 15

YOU: The 3-Letter Word In Customer Service

Lately, I have heard customer service representatives using the word, "you", without understanding that it has two entirely different hidden meanings. Companies should spend more time teaching/training their employees how this 3-letter word can either have positive or negative connotations.

Photo courtesy of @purpleslog

POSITIVE: Using it positively raises their hand in fame. "You did a great job." "You have been extraordinarly helpful this week." "I am thankful to have you on our team."

All of these statements have positive impressions. Customers can be thanked, congratulated, and even encouraged in certain situations. When the customer hears a phrase that uses you positively, it makes them feel valued and appreciated. Your customer will want to continue doing business with you to receive more positive affirmations.

NEGATIVE: Using it negatively points the finger in blame. "You need to pay your bill today." "I don't know how you don't understand." "Why didn't you call someone?"

These statements have negative impressions. Customers will feel pushed, bullied, and often disrespected. Your customer will try to avoid any contact with your company or staff to prevent these feelings. When your customer hears a phrase that uses you negatively, it makes them feel shameful, low, and not worthy.

Here are a few suggestions to change the negative use of you:

1. Use "we" to form the bridge between your customer. "We need the account to be paid to avoid interruption." "How can we help resolve the past due amount?"

2. Focus on the problem not the person. "The return policy is written for our customers' benefit."

3. Avoid extremes. "Obviously," "never," "always" all make it seem like it is impossible for the company to make mistakes.

Are YOU raising your customers' hand in fame, or pointing the finger in blame?

1 comment:

  1. Brock. This short, but useful article is great. Every company can learn a great deal from your tips on how to use "you" to demonstrate customer value and appreciation. Rich Shapiro