Why saying “No Problem” is a Problem

Part of creating a great customer experience includes positive language. Sometimes , however, what sounds like positive language can have subliminal negative impact. That’s why “No Problem” is a problem and here’s why you should never say those words ever again.

“No Problem” is usually spoken with smile and hopefully some sincerity. Great!

But lets break this down. Here are two words that customers never EVER want to hear;

  1. NO
  2. PROBLEM

Regardless of how sincere you are or  how bright your smile is, you are sending a subliminal negative message. It’s that simple … and that complicated. You’re “trying” (and failing) to deliver a positive message using negative language.

It’s like the difference between, “We close at 5pm” versus “We’re open until 5pm.”  Seems harmless, right? Technically they’re the same message but subliminally received very differently.  One says” We can’t wait for you to leave” while the other says, “We’re here for you.”

I’ll bet you’re trying this on yourself right now and saying, I don’t feel the difference.

Its subliminal.  You’re not supposed to.

Companies spend billions on subliminal advertising and marketing for a reason: It works. The music you hear in the supermarket or franchised retail shop is not a random station or playlist. Its designed to affect how you shop and what or how much you buy.  It sinks into the brain and it DOES work. So, if you’re a shop owner and just playing a random playlist or station, you might be sending the wrong message and losing sales. Research what other stores use. For example, Pier 1 sells CDs of the music played in their stores.

Given this powerful impact, everything you say to a customer and how you say it has an effect on them whether you realize it or not.  You must choose your words wisely and understand that it’s crucial  to learn positive language.

This also applies  with work colleagues. Using positive language will help them perceive you as more willing to help;  a team player. It will help with promotions,  if that is your goal.

It’s up to you be aware of your language and tone and learn to recognize if you’re trying to send positive messages using negative language.

So, for an exceptional customer experience, what can you say instead of “No Problem?”

Try “My Pleasure” or “Glad I could help you,” or Happy to be of Service.”

And remember to smile.

– Please read my other posts for ways to help improve your company’s customer service and share it if you’ve found it helpful.

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About the Author

Gerry Criscenzo, founder of Advanced Service Knowledge is passionate about delivering an exceptional customer experience.  He has over 30 years experience managing customer facing teams in very demanding customer service  industries such as automotive services, IT Services and Home Remodeling/Contractor Services. Gerry is available for consulting, keynote speaking and training.  Read more

Please feel free to comment or A.S.K. for topics that you would like covered.

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