“Houston We Have a Problem”

Marcia White

Just by telling a customer, “We have a problem”, sets the customer up for anxiety.  By changing the word “problem” to “challenge”, you provide your customer with hope.

The airline pilot comes on the speaker and says, “We have a problem.”  The IT person looking at your computer screen says, “This is a problem.”  Your auto mechanic is looking under the hood of your car and says, “Uh oh, I see a problem.”    Most of the time when a service person utters “problem,” hearts sink.    There is a feeling of hopelessness, weariness, worry.  Using the word, “challenge”, gives hope.  It implies that the situation is not insurmountable and can be resolved.     So, try using “challenge” instead of “problem” and see the hope in your customer’s eyes.


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