"No Problem" vs. "My Pleasure"

When someone says “thank you,” how do you respond? It’s a core tenet of customer service that has inspired much debate. It may seem trivial, but the way you talk to customers matters. With branding, R&D, marketing campaigns, and relationship building, chances are that your business invests heavily in attracting new clients and retaining old ones. But often, a customer’s decision of whether or not to continue to do business with you comes down to old-fashioned conversation.

That’s why Forbes, The New Yorker, The New York Times, and countless internet forums have published think pieces on the phrase “no problem.” People can and will get irked by the wrong response to gratitude. The Chick fil-A franchise goes so far as requiring its employees to always reply, “My pleasure.” Should you pay this much attention to what your employees say? Absolutely.

In his book “Age of the Customer,” Jim Blasingame observes that products and services don’t set you apart from the competition in the minds of your clientele: their experience with you does. Ensuring that the unique relationship you have with your clients stays positive is well worth developing some standard practice guidelines for your team.

What these guidelines should look like depends on your business. Examine your marketing materials and your demographics. What kind of experience do your customers expect from you? How can your customer service meet or reinforce this expectation? Work with your team to create a standard for customer communication that fits your company culture and the people you serve.

For some businesses, this means that “no problem” may be just that. If an informal, down-to-earth vibe fits your business, this millennialism may be harmless. But it doesn’t do you much good, either. The problem with colloquialisms is that everyone uses them, and the whole idea is to stand out in the minds of your customers. In many cases, a “you’re quite welcome” or even a “my pleasure” can make an otherwise forgettable interaction stick out in the minds of your customers.