Be aware of language differences

Here is your Daily Dose of Amazing Service:

Be aware of language differences

And here are some additional thoughts on this topic…

A friend of mine who grew up in New York City shared with me his first coffee experience in mild-mannered Minnesota. In a popular coffee shop near his home he asked for a “regular coffee”. When he took his first sip he almost spit it out.

“This is NOT a regular coffee” he told the barista. Her response was that it was indeed a regular coffee. They went back and forth several times before it became clear they each had differing ideas about what qualified as a regular coffee.

He explained it to me. “In New York, you ask for a regular coffee and you get coffee with cream and two sugars.” But in Minnesota, a regular coffee is black coffee with nothing added.

They used the same language to describe a different product based on their different backgrounds. This was an innocent misunderstanding but  not uncommon. And though this one didn’t diminish my friend’s appetite for fresh brewed coffee, similar exchanges can drive customers away.

Look at your job or your business. How many opportunities are there for situations like this to happen? How many ways could a customer and an employee enter a conversation with two vastly different ideas about something?

The article was written by Kevin Stirtz