Customers don’t want to be told what you can’t do for them. What they want is to be told is how their problem is going to be solved. How you handle a customer’s issue can determine whether or not you retain that customer. It comes down to positive versus negative language.

Positive language focuses on solutions whereas negative language doesn’t. Unfortunately, far too many customers hear phrases like “you have to” or “I need you to” or “why don’t you?” which leaves them feeling that they’re going to have to solve their issue without any help. What they should be hearing is “this what I’m going to do for you” or “what I need to do” or “give me a few minutes to solve this and I’ll get back to you.” It’s a simple switch from a negative response to a positive response by means of a change of word choice. For instance:

Negative: “Well first you’ll have to check your order number. Okay, thanks. I see that the we won’t receive the T-shirts for a few weeks. So I can’t tell you when we’ll print the job or when it will be ready.”

Positive: Well first let’s check your order number. Great, got it! Thanks. It looks like the T-shirts will arrive in a couple of weeks. I can call you as soon as they get here and let you know when they’ll be printed.”

Putting yourself in the customer’s shoes for a moment . . . Which answer would you prefer to hear? Which one is going to make you feel better about dealing with this textile printer?