Have you ever imagined how often we use or hear the phrase “no problem” in your daily communication? You would be amazed if you recorded it in a journal. “No Problem” is often wrongly used and many of us are hooked. What situations typically generate the “no problem” response? Are they negative or positive experiences? Problems are associated with negative experiences such as obstacles, crisis, trouble, dilemma, and setbacks. I have personally observed the following scenarios when these two negative words were used wrongly in handling customers.
I visited a restaurant in Victoria Island the other day where I bumped into an old classmate of mine, Clara. We chatted heartily and sat down to dine. The waiter took our meal order which took forever to arrive. In the end, the meal was delicious and well worth the long wait. Leaving the restaurant, I said to the waiter “may I have your contact telephone number to enable me order meals in good time in future?” “No problem”, he responded. I took the number alright, but in my mind I wondered why not a straightforward response such as “Sure, here it is,” after all, it was a simple request for a telephone number and not a problem at all.
On another occasion at the bank, I requested for my account statement. The customer service officer shouted “no problem”, madam. It was obvious from her body language that she was trying to please me but her verbal language was not in congruence with the matter at the moment. “Sure, I’ll get right to it” would have made my day. No problem? Not again.
At the Marina car park, a driver was speeding to take up a free parking space and was on the verge of knocking down an unsuspecting fruit seller. Be careful! shouted a concerned passerby. “No problem,” the driver retorted without looking in the direction of the passerby. By the time he was through with parking, the fruit seller was on the ground reeling with pain. “Thank you” or “No problem”? I just wonder.
COMPARE THE RESPONSES
|How’s business?||No problem|
|Can I borrow your pen please?||No problem|
|Are you sure you can handle this task?||No problem|
|Let’s meet up at the club.||No problem|
|Good job. I will recommend you to my friend.||No problem|
|How is your new job?||No problem.|
|Give my warm regards to Nancy.||No problem|
|I’ll join you at home to watch the match.||No problem|
|Can I spend the weekend with you?||No problem|
|How’s business?||Great or Could be better|
|Can I borrow your pen please?||It’s my pleasure|
|Are you sure you can handle this task?||Certainly|
|Let’s meet up at the club.||Yes, I’d love to|
|Good job. I will recommend you to my friend.||Thank you, I am glad
to hear that.
|How is your new job?||It’s going okay|
|Give my warm regards to Nancy.||Sure, I will|
|I’ll join you at home to watch the match.||That would be great|
|Can I spend the weekend with you?||
You are always welcome
Generally speaking, people do not like “problem” neither do they like “no” for an answer.
In handling customers, therefore, we should endeavour to communicate and interact effectively by using the right expressions that convey the intended message thereby leaving the customer with a happy and fulfilling experience.