Dealing with customers without driving them away requires a special touch. One factor in particular can help you cement a solid relationship with customers, and that factor is called likeability.
Likeability refers to the chances that others will like or enjoy being around another person; sometimes, the word likeable is substituted for friendly or personable.
The best customer service agents and managers have this “it factor,” and even if you don’t consider yourself particularly likeable, you can make a few customer service vocabulary tweaks that boost likeability and can improve relationships and outcomes with customers.
4 Customer Service Vocabulary Tweaks That Boost Likeability
1. Swap ‘no problem’ for more formal ‘you’re welcome’
‘No problem’ is not an ideal response to a customer’s ‘Thank you.’ Why? First, it includes the word no, which makes the human mind hear it as a negative statement. Second, for you to say that something was ‘no problem’ for you, it connotes that the situation could have been a problem – not the tone you want to set in customer service.
A better way to approach it would be to stick to the tried and true response of “You’re welcome.”
This shows the customer that you acknowledge you’ve helped them without conveying that it could have been a problem or issue for you. You also don’t downplay the importance of what you’ve done for the customer by passing it off as merely “no problem.”
2. Ask a small favor if applicable
Sure, it’s odd for customer service professionals to ask their customers for a favor, but this tweak works so well it would be remiss to ignore it. Asking others for a favor – a favor, not tons of favors – increases your likeability because it shows you have faith in the other person.
If you can squeeze it in naturally, do it for a likeability boost! Here are a few examples:
- Could you do me a quick favor? Could you find the policy number on the left side of your card and repeat it back to me?
- Could you do me a favor and hold for about 1 minute? I just need to pull up your account statement details and it takes a moment to load.
- We absolutely loved the homemade cookies you sent over last week – if you don’t mind, we would love to have the recipe when you get a little free time! They were so delicious, thanks again!
3. Add a formal greeting (sir, ma’am, miss, etc.) to your statements
While it might sound counter-intuitive to go more formal in your quest to boost likeability, this is one case where it works! The key is keeping your tone informal and friendly while using the formal title or greeting your customer would prefer. Try it out – end your statements with sir or ma’am while injecting a friendly smile and your likeability will increase.
- “I’m so glad we were able to get that sorted for you, ma’am!”
- “Is there anything else I can help with, sir?”
4. Act like old friends
First, let us say that there is a right way to do this and a wrong way to do this. Acting like a customer is an old friend is a smart way to boost your likeability, but it’s easy to go overboard and run a customer off if you come on too strong. As you interact with a customer, act as though they’re a regular or an old friend to make yourself seem more likeable.
The phrase, “(S)he’s never met a stranger!” refers to intensely friendly people that make everyone feel welcome and invited, no matter how recently they’ve met – this can be you when you treat customers like old friends. Not only will you boost your own likeability, but you’ll also be more likely to create loyal customers out of what would be one-time buyers.