Phil Hauck's TEC Blog

Monday, July 19, 2010

How You Say It Is All-Important!

In an article in the current Harvard Business Review, "Stop Trying to Delight Your Customers," authors Matthew Dixon, Karen Freeman, and Nikolas Toman cite this example:
The lighting company Osram Sylvania sifts through its call transcripts to pinpoint words that tend to trigger negative reactions and drive repeat calls -- words like "can't, "won't," and "don't" -- and coaches its reps on alternate phrasing. Instead of saying "We don't have that item in stock," the rep might explain, "We'll have stock availability of that item in two weeks." Through such simple changes in language, OSram Sylvania has lowered its Customer Effectiveness Score from 2.8 to 2.2 -- 18.5% below the average we see for B2B companies.

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