Have you ever heard the following?
Then, Bob’s your uncle.
It’s the difference between chalk and cheese.
On your bike, then.
If you haven’t and you don’t live in the UK, Colin wouldn’t be surprised. They are British idioms and when he employ these expressions with his American pals, they usually don’t know he is talking about. However, his friends and family on the other side of the pond do.
It demonstrates the importance of the words you use to communicate and how easy it is to miscommunicate or not communicate at all. Language holds a pivotal role in shaping your customer experience.
Our interest in the significance of language ignited recently when we received a None of Us Are as Clever as All of Us video from Shane Smith (firstname.lastname@example.org) at Everetics, a consultancy specializing in customer support and service. Smith emphasized the crucial role of language, highlighting how words carry weight beyond what our conscious mind perceives. Being mindful of employing positive language instead of negative words can remarkably enhance the customer experience without any cost.
In my tenure as a global Customer Experience Consultant, we’ve trained many employees on the impact of language choices. Raising awareness about how we convey messages significantly influences customers’ perspectives.
Smith pinpointed innocuous phrases used in interactions, such as “No problem” or “I don’t disagree.” While the phrases convey positivity—indicating there’s no issue or that there is agreement with the other person—the inclusion of words like “problem” and “disagree” introduces negativity subconsciously, perhaps making the listener feel defensive. Defensiveness is not a positive interaction with a brand, even at a subconscious level.
It’s akin to framing; how you package information alters its perception. Similarly, how you phrase prices or present choices can influence customers’ decisions. So, why be casual about the language employed in customer communication?
In this episode, we explore the topic of language choices and how you can employ them in your experience also.
Here are some other key moments in the discussion:
- 03:21 Colin quizzes Ryan on a few British idioms, and Ryan does okay considering he’s from Ohio.
- 07:07 We lead into the video submitted by Shane Smith regarding the importance of choosing your words carefully in customer interactions.
- 11:46 We give our first thoughts about Smith’s ideas, and agree that neither of us thinks scripts are a great idea for customer interactions.
- 16:17 Colin shares a story about how Apple uses language brilliantly with their training on “Feel, Felt, Found” when talking to customers.
- 22:20 Ryan gets philosophical, summarizing an argument about the effects of language that has been going on for a long, long time.
- 25:19 We share how you can also submit a video to the podcast with our None of Us Are as Clever as All of Us feature.