5 Things Service Professionals Should ALWAYS Say…

Recently I created a blog and infographic titled “5 Things Service Professionals Should NEVER Say.” After those materials were published, a client noted that she hung the infographic in one of her break rooms, to remind her team of some “words to stay away from.” She then asked for a companion infographic on things that should be said to customers on a regular basis. If you claim to be customer-obsessed, like I do, you celebrate and fulfill those types of requests immediately!!!

Here’s the “flip-side” (forgive that term as it is a vestige of my days as a disc jockey when the 45 RPM was king – for those too young to know what a 45 RPM is – here is a wikipedia link). Back to my client’s request…

5 Things Service Professionals Should ALWAYS Say

  • Hello, my name is…

All business is personal. Offering our name, gives customers an invitation to be in a personal interaction, not a detached business transaction. More importantly when we offer our name customers are more inclined to share theirs. As we become aware of a customer’s name, we should use it respectfully and kindly. Dale Carnegie once suggested that the most pleasant sound is one’s name used lovingly.

  • Yes…and…

I came upon this phrase while doing training in improv comedy. Imagine two actors entering an empty stage to create an improvisational scene based soley on a suggestion from the audience. Whenever one actor utters something or makes a gesture the other actor is given a “gift on which the scene can be advanced.” If one actor says “it sure is cold out” the other essentially says “yes” — begins to shiver – AND adds something to the scene like “why don’t you come over to my fire” (both actors begin to warm their hands above the fire imagined by the second actor). When we assist customers we shouldn’t be acting. However, we should be ADVANCING the relationship by embracing and building on the wants, needs, and desires of our customer.

  • Have you considered…

There are many alternatives for this particular phrase but it’s essence is to continue to show and inform your customer other service/product possibilities beyond their initial inquiry. More negative sounding terms for this service behavior include “cross-selling” or “adding on to the customer’s ticket.” As I think about this, I am not focused on the sale as much as facilitating customer exploration and discovery.

  • Thank You!

Momma told us we should use these “magic words” right along side “please.” In truth, customers often feel a lack of gratitude for having chosen to “browse, spend time in a business or for even making a purchase.” Be the company that says thank you to every customer, every time they visit you on or offline.

  • I look forward to seeing/assisting you again soon.

Give your customer a reason to come back! Talk about an upcoming promotion or encourage them to update you on how they liked something they bought today. But most importantly let them know you are eager to see them again and hopefully to be of assistance to them again in the future.

Ok, that’s the flip-side…

It’s up to you to post this information and other resource information to drive the service words you want your customer to hear…

For more key components to great service interactions, I hope you will consider picking up my book Driven to Delight: Delivering World-Class Customer Experience the Mercedes-Benz Way.

Smoke over black background

Joseph A. Michelli, Ph.D. is a professional speaker and chief experience officer at The Michelli Experience. A New York Times #1 bestselling author, Dr. Michelli and his team consult with some of the world’s best customer experience companies.

Follow on Twitter: @josephmichelli


  1. mark waterman on June 16, 2017 at 6:53 am

    I was wondering did you ever work in Denver as a DJ on one of the rock stations it must of been in the 80s that I heard you

  2. Joseph Michelli on June 16, 2017 at 7:38 am

    Mark, guilty as charged! I was on BZ, the nifty 1150 with Tom Slick, the Beautiful Bob Lee, the Boogieman and a cast of other colorful characters! Sounds like we shared the airwaves together. Thanks for the moment of nostalgia.

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