It makes a huge difference in your customer service success and operational excellence to train everyone in your company to have a “default attitude of yes” to do their part in creating a company that your team is excited to find a way to find to answer every customer “Yes,” even before you know what the question is, what they’ll ask of you.
Therefore, as a customer service advisor, trainer and eLearning producer, I work hard to get my customers excited about the nationwide implementation of this “yes”.
And you should commit yourself to this yes standard: write it down in your customer service standards, your customer service best practices, never saying “no,” but make a commitment to the goal for each of your customers in every case Achieve a yes interaction rather than finding ways to say …
… “This is not my department.”
… “Unfortunately we cannot comply with this request.” (It doesn’t make it any better if you sound like you’re trying your hand at a Gray Poupon commercial or a role on “The Crown.” Snooty language doesn’t stop a “no” from being a “no.” )
… or, and that is perhaps the example I hate most …
… “If you call back tomorrow morning, maybe someone can help you.” (How many things are wrong with this one? You could just as easily have said, “Oh, absolutely. We can help you with that. The expert on this is Margaret. She comes in around 9:30 am every day, but unfortunately she’s already today I’m going to put this piece of paper on her desk and I expect you to hear from her before 10am tomorrow. ”) Isn’t that much better ?!
Customer Service Training Resource: The MAMA Method of Restoring Customer Service (Working With Disgruntled Customers and Turning Them Over)
If you can’t offer that especially yes the customer asks or hopes or expects or demands, but still strives for it Never say “no” to the customer without offering a reasonable alternative or two this can work as an alternative solution for the customer.
Keep this principle in mind: “No” is a dead end. “We can’t do that” is a dead end. But “we can do that” keeps the communication channel open, and drives the kind of customer passion and loyalty that keeps your company in the black.
How an iconic seller at Nordstrom applies the default value of Yes
Look at the lengths that Joanne Hassis, saleswoman in perfect completion Nordstrom King of Preussen (Greater Philadelphia Area) will not disappoint their customers (in this case me!) with a “no”. Not so long ago my favorite short-sleeved shirts, which I have been buying from Nordstrom for years, were discontinued by the Nordstrom supplier and Joanne was no longer able to sell them to me.
Instead of just saying, “Sorry, Micah, this is a no,” she found a solution, even though it came from a competing website with private label shirts that Joanne thought would be suitable replacements. Joanne or Nordstrom didn’t make any money with it, but you can bet that I’ll be more loyal than ever to buying the rest of my wardrobe from Joanne – and recommending her services to others too. (As I actually did here.)
Major exceptions to the default Yes: Health, Privacy, Security, Security
Before I leave, I want to stress that there are a number of scenarios in which you shouldn’t even try to get a yes. It does so when the requirement has risky safety, health, or safety implications.
So please do not misapplicate the advice of this article in any of the following ways:
“We don’t mind if you put your chair in front of the marked emergency exit.”
“Sure, I’ll bypass our passcode verification procedures and introduce you to your account because you forgot your password.” “You are welcome to continue drinking at our bar, far beyond sobriety.”
“Yes, that’s fine if you open our pool security gate to make loading and unloading easier for your child’s birthday party.”
“I like to drive you to the airport, even though I’ve already had a few after-work drinks.”
-and so on.