Try PATY for customer retention

True story:

Went through the drive-through of a fast food restaurant. (Isn’t that how these stories always start?) While waiting at the window for my food – after getting a very pleasant greeting of “$9.71” (and literally no other words) from the restaurant’s employee – I noticed a sign on his side of the window. Actually, it was more of a scrawled message on a whiteboard, but I took it as a sign.

The message said, “Please and thank you go a long way.” YES! I thought that I’d finally found a fast-food restaurant (see above note) that had it right.

Alas, the employee returned – after a very long, lonely absence – and handed me my food. “Have a nice day” was all I got. Okay, so that’s polite and nice and all, but I seriously doubt it was anywhere close to sincere.

So, I had to ask. And I did, as pleasantly and in as good a humor as I could muster. “That sign behind you – is that for employees to read or just something nice for customers to see?” The employee was absolutely, positively dumbfounded. It was as if he was seeing that message for the very first time. I’m guessing that was the case, actually.

He asked me – and I am NOT making this up – “You want me to say please and thank you?”

GACK. Seriously? Yes, dear, I am your customer. I just handed you money. (Remember the “$9.71”?) You could say thank you.

That’s not really what I said in response, of course. My even smarter response was “Yes. It goes a long way,” as I again pointed to the sign.

The employee gave a bit of an embarrassed giggle but still did not get it. I said “thank you.” Twice. He said … wait for it … “you’re welcome.”

More GACK.

So I gestured. No, not that kind of gesture. I gave him a visual signal that I expected HIM to say “thank you.” And hooray! He did actually say it. Although, again, I seriously doubt it was anywhere close to sincere.

Please and thank you … they do go a long way … when they are actually used! They have magical powers. They can make customers happy, convince customers you honestly appreciate their business, and they can bring those customers back for more.

Try PATY (please and thank you) with your team. Let me know how it goes!

 

#humancomms #customercommunications #words

Need help training your employees to use PATY and other magical words when communicating with each other and with customers? Let’s talk!

Related articles

HumanComms: Easy for you to say!

When I tell others that I help business people with human communications, they nod and smile in agreement that “something needs to be done” in that area. We are all bombarded by electronics and have forgotten how to communicate on a human level. However, we then all go back to our desks, to our meetings, […]

Learn More

Thank you!

Do you always thank your customers—every time? The next time you interact with other businesses, whether stopping at a fast food restaurant, buying groceries, or shopping at a “big box” store, count the number of times you are actually thanked. If conducting a transaction with a service business, whether in person or online, you should […]

Learn More

How FTD just lost $65 and a customer

First lesson: Capture a screenshot whenever you have a sketchy “customer service” experience online. Second lesson: As a business owner, never let any of your employees do this to a potential customer. The story: A few days ago, I decided to send an older family member some flowers for her birthday. The branding message in […]

Learn More