Yes, you read that right, we can lose our customers at hello!
The start of any interaction has that power to truly draw or dispel. We’ve heard about Tom Cruise’s movie, “Jerry Maguire” and the all-too-famous line of Renee Zellweger — “You had me at hello”. It became really popular because movie watchers kept talking about how that word and interaction triggered inexplicable feelings of value on the part of the receiver, Renee Zellweger.
“Hello”. That’s just a word, yes, but it sure did convey a myriad of things and feelings that magically drew the recipient to the receiver. In this case, it’s a positive and magnetic feeling. These feelings resulted to the girl falling for Jerry, leading to a relationship and then marriage… But let’s not get off the track here.
The same word “hello” has a remarkable result, too, if we consider the effect of an ill-prepared start of interaction with a hurried “hello” said in a very nonchalant manner. It sets the mood of the entire conversation. Talking customer service here, it is like a meter that starts ticking in the customer’s mind as the interaction progresses. “Oh this person is not too friendly..”, “I wonder if he likes to talk to me or help me out,”, “I am right, he is not interested to resolve my concern with the way he is responding to my queries..”, “this is such a bad experience for me even at the start, I should be talking to someone else who is willing to assist.”
You got it right — it may seem simple and might not even be the gauge of the entire experience but the first “hello” and how it was delivered spells a world of difference in the whole interaction and perception of customer towards the person he is speaking with, be it in person or on the other line.
I started observing and listening more at the onset of every call and compared the survey ratings of these well-delivered “hellos” to those “hellos” that were dropped for the sake of opening a conversation — poles apart ratings! Impressive ratings were given to those that started the conversation with their powerful, perky tone saying “hello”, while nasty comments were indicated in verbatims for those that didn’t start and sound well with their “hello”.
You see, the truth is, we can get, retain and even lose our customers with just one “hello”. Yes, it’s not the entire experience but it’s the beginning of something promising or otherwise. Let’s be more careful and sensitive now.
Choose to win today!!
Winning with you!