Saying “No problem” Is a Growing Problem

Are you noticing it too? More and more service and sales people seem to be following up our verbal thank yous with the very mundane and somewhat uncaring reply, “No problem“.

This first came to my attention while listening to a sales trainer who I had hired for my previous employer in 2010. During one of his sessions, he passionately described the downsides of this habit to the audience of salespeople he was training.

His point was clear and simple. If a customer or a prospect tells you thank you (or something similar), why would you throw away a perfect opportunity to reply in a way that could differentiate you and enhance your relationship with her?

Saying, “No problem”, suggests that your service is no better, or no less, than the other guy’s. Even the most basic reply, “You’re welcome”, provides far more value to the people involved than “No problem”.

Far better, especially from a business perspective, would be to say something such as, “It’s my pleasure”, or “You’re very welcome, our goal is for you to always have a great experience with us.”

Certainly, you don’t want to go over the top and get corny, but it’s important to remember that every conversation matters. Each conversation you have with someone either builds up your relationship or erodes it. Rarely does what you say have no impact at all.

I was reminded of this the other day when I received a call from my favorite local Goodyear store to let me know my car was ready. When I said “Thank you”, the young man making the call immediately replied with, “You’re welcome.”

Wow, what a breath of fresh air his gracious and thoughtful reply was. I was impressed, and I told him so when I picked up the car.

Next time someone thanks you (at home, at work or anywhere), will you risk diminishing your relationship by replying, “No problem”, or will you smile and let them know they’re appreciated by offering a gracious, “You’re welcome”? It’s an easy way to make a difference.

“Feeling genuinely appreciated lifts people up.”  ~Tony Schwartz (American businessman and author)

Question: What do you say most often when someone thanks you?