Vital verbals

As I mentioned last week, one of my goals for 2014 is reduce the amount of paper in my life. Given the amount of paper I have collected over the years, the path to achieving this goal involves sifting through piles and piles of paper. Over the past week, this sifting process has yielded mostly irrelevant articles, outdated tear-sheets, useless records; tonight, however, I found notes from a class I took a few years ago (I can’t remember where) on how to use positive and effective words to offer excellent customer service. The lessons are worth rereading and remembering, even if I will be throwing away the pieces of paper imminently!

Rewarding words that everyone loves to hear:

  • Money-saving
  • Time-saving
  • New
  • Easy
  • Fast
  • Simple
  • Safe
  • Proven
  • Guarantee
  • Results
  • Benefit
  • Superior
  • Performance
  • Preferred
  • Recommended
  • Powerful
  • You

Annoying words that, well, annoy everyone:

  • Unacceptable
  • Unfair
  • Inefficient
  • Obvious
  • Intolerable
  • Impossible
  • Deny
  • Pointless
  • Exaggerate
  • Wrong
  • Useless
  • Inability
  • Negligence
  • Irresponsible
  • Wasteful
  • Biased
  • Failure
  • Weak
  • Impossible
  • Unfortunate
  • Worthless
  • Must
  • Must not
  • Should

The class also focused on “vital verbals” – transforming weak expressions that create poor perceptions into assertive statements that convey positivity.

“I don’t know” becomes “Let me find out for you”

“I just got here” becomes “How may I help you”

“I can’t help you” becomes “If I can’t help you, I’ll find the right person”

“I don’t think I can do that” becomes “I’ll do whatever it takes”

“I don’t have anything to do with your problem” becomes “Here’s what I will do to resolve your problem”

“We have a problem” becomes “To solve the problem…”

And finally, let’s remember who the customer is…