No Problem is a Big Problem


I like businesses that give me personal service and that little extra attention. I am willing to pay more at those businesses and I become a very loyal customer.

Recently, I visited my local hardware store where I get that personal attention and service. With a little assistance, I got the supplies I needed and I headed to the checkout lane. I exchanged a few comments with the sales clerk, picked up my items and said, “Thank You” to which the sales clerk responded, “No Problem.”

His response caught my attention. Of course it wasn’t a problem. “No problem” sounds like: “I was not overly inconvenienced by your visit.” I was annoyed by that response. This may be a common response, but it sends the wrong message to customers.

Customer experience is the #1 differentiator and a significant focus for every business. The most unique thing you have to offer customers is the experience they have with you. That relationship is fragile and can easily be eroded or lost. Make your customers FEEL special when doing business with you. After all, 70% of buying experiences are based on how the customer feels they are being treated.

Customers should clearly know that they are valued. Businesses spend a lot of marketing resources to achieve the Holy Grail—a customer purchase. A sincere appreciation seals the deal and increases the possibility for repeat visits, increasing loyalty and retention. In fact, 9 out of 10 people say they would pay more to ensure superior service.

A response should communicate, “No, Thank YOU, valued customer, for choosing us over all your brick & mortar and online options. You could spend your hard-earned money at a variety of places. We truly appreciate you giving us the opportunity to serve you!”

While “no problem” may not bother everyone, is it worth the risk of annoying customers? Error on the side of sending the message you intend to your valuable customers!

This blog was originally published in the February 2016 Carmel Business Leader.


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