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NOVEMBER 2013 issue of
Rental Management

At Your Service: The problem with 'no problem'

When did “You are welcome” or “My pleasure” get replaced with the response, “No problem?” It seems that more often than not, when I thank or acknowledge someone for their service their response to me is, “No problem.” I know in the grand scheme of things, this may not be a big deal, but if you are looking to improve your customer service, this is a place to start.

I would hope that answering my question or providing me information would not be a problem. It is part of their job.

When our company conducts mystery phone shops, as part of the call, the employee will provide price and availability. The call might go something like this: We request the price of a skid-steer rental for a week and the employee will come back with a price and perhaps other information. We will thank the employee for the information and they will respond with, “No problem.”

They could have easily said, “You are welcome. Thank you for calling.”

Both “no” and “problem” are negative terms, so this is a pet peeve of mine. Stay away from the negative and focus on the positive. The results always are much better.

The service provider is certainly not meaning to be rude or offensive, but when considering how we can make the interaction more effective, there are better options. Consider other ways the employee could respond instead of “No problem.”

  • “Yes.”
  • “Certainly.”
  •  “My pleasure.”
  • “Right away.”
  • "You’re welcome.”
  • “I will find out for you.”

There are companies that train their employees to remove “No problem” from their vocabulary. They replace it with more positive terms that leave a better lasting impression. Chick-fil-A is very good at that — say “Thank you” to one of their employees and see how they respond. It does make a difference.

Exceptional customer service often is about the little things and replacing “No problem” with a more positive option can make that difference. You’re welcome.

Barry Himmel is a senior vice president for Signature Worldwide, a Dublin, Ohio-based company offering sales and customer service training, marketing and mystery shopping services for a variety of service-based industries. Signature also offers several training sessions geared towards the rental industry. For more information, call 800-398-0518 or visit signatureworldwide.com.




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