How You Can Avoid the “No Problem” Problem – Manners, Courtesy and Customer Service

When you visit a store, talk with someone (on the phone or in person) or deal with any issues, invariably, the customer service agent, wait staff or technician will say “No problem” when you thank them for their help.

What’s wrong with that?

Well, for starters, I didn’t realize I was a problem.

By saying #Noproblem, the customer service or other service person is implying that whatever I asked for was a problem – but they are forgiving me.

Isn’t that kind of them?

Well, no, not really!

The retail world exists to serve – at least that’s always the way I’ve seen it. They have something we need or want, we ask them questions if we need to know details or have concerns. They resolve the concerns, we hand over the money, then they provide the item or service. (I’ve been in retail at some points in my career, so I’m speaking from experience.)

By saying or implying that we, the customer, might have been a problem for them is entirely the wrong approach. Actually, it’s bordering on rudeness!

Isn’t the phrase that’s called for “You’re welcome,” or “I’m pleased I was able to help?”

Am I being nitpicky? Perhaps, but the message is all-important.

If the last thing a customer hears is that they are “no problem,” the last word they hear is “problem.” They remember that! Do you really want that as their last memory of their interaction with you?

RETAILERS: I’m on a mission to spread the word about simple courtesy and positive results! Train your staff to say, “You’re welcome” or “It was a pleasure to serve you.” (And, of course, you had better be sure they say that with sincerity!)

A compliment: At a stay at #The Phoenician, in late 2014, the “pleasure to serve” was frequent and sincere – It made me smile! Now, that’s customer service.

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