Phrases That Pay
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Simple statements that increase your perceived value
Quick -- name two words which, when frequently used by waiters
and waitresses, increases tips by 12%. (Hint: it's not please
or thank you).
Give up? The answer is, 'for you.' So, rather than
saying to a customer, "Would you like some more coffee?", the savvy
waiter would say, "I brought more coffee over for you." The
patron thinks, "Gosh, you did that for me, how thoughtful!" and tips
accordingly -- on average 12% more.
That's what I call easy money. "While you can never
be too polite with a customer, you can be too formal." If you
answered correctly -- ignore the rest of this article. If on
the other hand you'd like more phrases and tips that increase your
perceived value, then read on.
It's OK to be in a bad mood.
I don't buy-in to the conventional 'wisdom' that an employee
must bubble with enthusiasm to provide great service and high
value. In the real world of upset customers, long hours, and
stress, an employee's enthusiasm will occasionally wear thin.
We all have bad days. So, front line employees need to be
trained on how to convey a positive, helpful attitude even when they're
not having a zippity-do-dah day.
Here are several situations along with phrases that convey a
powerful positive impression -- no matter how stressed you may be.
A customer asks for something and you don't know if it's in
- Without training: "I don't know if
they're in. I'll have to check."
- With training: "I don't know if
they're in, but I'll be happy to check for you."
The trained employee conveys a better attitude. The
irony is that she didn't work any harder than the untrained worker --
they both checked inventory. But the trained employee gets a
lot more credit because she used better phrasing. What's more
-- she didn't have to feel happy or enthusiastic to get the extra
credit. She just used wording that made a better impression.
A boss, co-worker or customers asks you to do something.
- Without training (any of the
following): "OK, I'll try, I'll do my best, uh-huh, sure."
- With training: "I'll take care of it."
"OK" or "sure" are adequate responses. But who wants
to be perceived as 'adequate'? On the other hand, imagine
asking someone to do a series of difficult, inconvenient, unpleasant
tasks, and they respond instead with, "I'll take care it."
That conveys the impression of a positive, confident, caring
person. Again, we don't have to actually feel excited or want
to do the task, but using the right phrasing creates that perception.
you can never be too polite with a customer, you
can be too formal."
A customer asks about a delivery date.
- Without training: "We might be able to
get it to you by Wednesday."
- With training: "We'll deliver it by
The guideline is, underpromise and overdeliver. In
this situation, if the delivery is made on Thursday, the untrained
employee looks incompetent while the trained person looks like a
hero. Keep in mind that it's not just your organization's
reputation that's at stake -- it's also your personal
reputation. So make promises sparingly, and then keep them --
no matter what it costs you.
You're addressing a customer.
- Without training: Says, "sir, miss, or
- With training: avoids using sir or
ma'me and instead uses person's name.
While you can never be too polite with a customer, you can be
too formal. When I ask participants at my seminars how they
feel when a front line employee addresses them as "sir" or "ma'am" the
overwhelming response is, 'old'. Not a good
feeling. What's more, it creates a barrier between the
customer and employee. The customer may be starting to think
of the employee as a friend -- which we want. But the moment
the employee uses "sir" or "ma'am" the customer is reminded that
they're not friends, but business associates. Most of us are
much more loyal to friends than we are to businesses. Of
course there are exceptions where you may choose to be more formal;
such as when you're dealing with certain senior citizens or someone
from a conservative cultural background (anyone from England).
You want to be believed.
- Without training: (Prefaces the
statement with any of these phrases): "The truth is
. . . believe me . . . , honest
. . . , true story . . . , I really
mean this . . ."
- With training: Omits all these
statements and just makes the statement of fact.
Prefacing a statement with a phrase that essentially says
we're about to tell the truth, implies that everything we've said up
till that point has been a lie! These statements hurt rather than help
our credibility. So trained employees just don't use them --
especially when having a sales conversation.
The competitive edge.
Having a technological advantage over the competition is
almost impossible to sustain in today's marketplace.
Customers can almost always get a similar product to yours somewhere
else. The easiest way to differentiate you and your
organization is by providing value added service. That
doesn't mean everyone has to work harder. It does mean you
need to speak the language of professionals. That's when
using the right phrase really pays.
About the Author
is based on the bestselling book,
Influence with Ease®
customer service strategist and certified professional speaker Jeff
obtain your own copy of his book or to inquire about engaging Jeff for
team, visit www.jeffmowatt.com
or call toll
free 1-800-JMowatt (566-9288).
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Article Published/Sorted/Amended on Scopulus 2013-02-19 12:56:59 in Marketing Articles