“Politeness goes far, yet costs nothing.”
—Samuel SmilesNineteenth-century popular writer
“Oh yeah?! Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me.” Sound familiar? As children, we recited those words many times. They were our self-defense in the very situations where we learned that words did hurt—emotionally, if not physically. And many of us carry memories that remind us that the pain words inflict can be more devastating than any bruise or broken arm.
Words are just as powerful to adults. We are capable of bruising or soothing our customers with words; it all depends on how we use them. The service professional who can use words well gains a distinct advantage in the service transaction. ...