The Power of ‘Yes’ in Customer Services

The power of ‘yes’ in customer services

The power of ‘yes’ in customer services

10 August, 2020

Customer Service Excellence

Have you ever considered the power of saying yes to customers? In our experience, the power of this simple affirmation – that we can do what the other person wants us to do – gives great potential to build powerful and strong relationships. Interestingly, it is often overlooked by Customer Service managers as a customer service tool.

The first words customer service staff say when they respond to a request, question or complaint influences the conversation towards either a positive, neutral or negative outcome.  In order to influence a positive outcome, what is said first needs to be positive.  Starting on the positive encourages the brain to be more receptive, open to solutions and ready to listen.

In a situation where a customer service team member is completely sure, without any doubt, that they are able to say yes to an internal or external customer’s request, they have an important opportunity to easily create a positive experience, build loyalty and increase trust. It might seem somewhat obvious, however, many times the opportunity is missed or misused. Making your customer service teams aware of this small but hugely powerful skill can make the difference between a good outcome or an excellent one.

Making the most of being able to say ‘yes’

Saying ‘yes’ to another person’s request clearly actually has a positive effect on them. It will keep them in a positive state and listening to you.  Yet sometimes we miss the opportunity to make the very best of saying ‘yes’.

Here are some simple considerations that help to make the most of this ‘yes’ opportunity:

  • Be absolutely sure that you can definitely say yes or are certain you can do what the other person is asking of you
  • Make the ‘yes’ count by using confident, clear and straightforward language
  • Avoiding using negative language to say something positive

If your customer service team member really can do what the customer wants, making sure they say so clearly and confidently, so the customer really hears it, makes a significant difference to the impact and the value. A helpful tip is to add weight to the ’yes’ by enhancing it with additional words that the service giver comfortable with to strengthen the impact. Such words could be:

Yes certainly I can

Yes definitely

Yes absolutely

Sure we can

Definitely we can do that

Yes, I’d be pleased to…..

Yes I can do that right away for you

I can do that right now

Sometimes ‘yes’ is misused when we don’t know an answer and need to check.  For example, saying ‘yes that should be OK’ or ‘yes I think we can’. This is not a definite yes and can lead to confusion. To say ‘yes’ when we are not 100% sure could lead you into a situation which is much trickier to manage than if you were to take some time out to check first.

Are you saying ‘yes’ or not?

The final consideration is the use of negative language when saying ‘yes’.  A ‘yes’ that is phrased in the negative, for example, “no problem” or “no worries”, runs the risk of the other person incorrectly registering or mishearing your response.  We are programmed to pick up on negative information or threats so what other people may hear is ‘no’, there is a ‘problem’, here is a ‘worry’.  People who do pick up on this language can, in our experience, mishear or misinterpret what is being said and reply with ‘well this is a problem/worry for me’.  At the very least, by using negative language, staff are making customers work harder at hearing their ‘yes’.  When saying ‘yes’, customer service staff should try to avoid any language that could have the potential to create any doubt or confusion as to whether they are really saying yes or not!

Being on the alert for opportunities where your customer service team can confidently say ‘yes’ to another person’s request when they are sure they can do what they are asking and training them to use the enhancements we have talked about in this article, will bring make the most of the positive, good news your teams are sharing.

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