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ARTICLESEffective Communication

SMALL WORDS MAKE A BIG DIFFERENCE

"WE"
While discussing on a negotiation for a letter of credit the bank representative inadvertently mentioned “by agreeing to the applicant’s proposal we stand to lose”. Though the loss would have only been for our company, by using the word “we” she put herself in our place. “We” meant oneness where she subconsciously demonstrated solidarity and concern. “We” meant ‘your business is our business.’ “We” meant ‘we are with you all the way.’ “We” reflected a sense of caring and belonging for the customer.

There are many such small words that do not directly satisfy a customer but make a big difference while offering empathy or comfort. While such words are taken for granted they subconsciously bring them closer. Both parties may be unaware of the relationship or bonding these words create.

 

It is in “our” interest to negotiate further

“We” have achieved “our” objectives

This would mean a profit for “us”

 

Small words like this show oneness with the customer, his activities and well-being.

Words like these may not be expressed in a pure buy-sell or a short-term relationship. It is more often experienced in long standing relation. A relation that has evolved over time, where there is a genuine concern for the growth and success of the customer. Concerns, that passes the test of time in business.

For the customer, he is satisfied that his interests are understood and addressed. He feels secure and well looked after. And, for the service provider … well, he becomes an extension of the customers business. It is a win-win situation where the service provider takes over and the customer gladly hands over his problem or situation and leaves it in good hands.

Yes, small words make a big difference.

In retrospection one finds many such simple words that are taken for granted but could make a big difference to make a customer happy and come back to you.

"THANK YOU"
One of them is “Thank you”. This is often heard after a purchase but rarely would you hear a “thank you” for just visiting an establishment. A “thank you” is warranted after a purchase, but a conscious “thank you” for just stepping in portrays due courtesy to a potential customer. It makes a person revisit that place and maybe actually purchase sometime in future. Imagine you were to be ignored or not acknowledged while stepping out without a purchase. While this might be embarrassing to the customer himself, it makes him wary of entering the place next time knowing well, the kind of treatment to expect. By saying “Thank you” with or without a purchase you are sending a positive message in favor of your establishment.

Always remember a customer shares his experience with others.

"SORRY"
Normally it is wise to strike it right the first time. This is not always possible. You come with sufficient justified justifications for it. But have you ever tried saying “sorry” for what happened in true earnest? Try it. Normally you find the other person equally willing and wholeheartedly understanding, accepting and forgiving. He might even turn around and help solve the problem. Your humility has converted the situation in your favor. It’s hitting two birds with one stone. You manage to salvage an unpleasant situation and get another opportunity for business.

“Sorry” must elicit two reactions – “Forgiven” or “Not Forgiven”. In either situation a meek “sorry” has towered over the customer’s ego and invariably gets him down to accepting it. By not accepting an apology he becomes even smaller and converts the person who said sorry to a hero.  “Sorry” does work wonders in customer satisfaction.

However, don’t make “sorry” a habit.

"YES"
Another magic word to customer satisfaction and business success is “Yes”. It all starts from here. “Yes” is a reflection of ones attitude and thinking. With a “yes” you invite the customer for business while with a “no” you immediately drive him away. Even if you do not have items to the customer’s specification you can try to get it or suggest alternates. Whatever the situation, it all has to start with a “yes” to ensure business.

Show genuine concern towards your customer, his business and success and over time these small words uttered make a big difference in business. 

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COMMENTS

Cynthia

This is a very nice article :)
It is so important to maintain the basic courtesies while dealing with any customer. Funnily I noticed that when you visit a shop they very happily welcome you. But if you don't buy from them they don't bother to say thank you or please come again. I think these small words and such acts is what makes or breaks any business.

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