How many times per day do you think this phrase is said to someone? Or just how many times has this phrase been said to you in one day? I'm often asked if this phrase can be said too many times.
The answer? Yes, I guess it could if you're saying it to the same person repeatedly. That might get annoying. However, for the average person, hearing a genuine "Have a nice day" can be a very good thing--"genuine" being the key word.
The other day, I was in a video store (as always, we don't name names) and rented several videos. The person who was waiting on me did so in complete silence. Complete silence, that is, until she handed me my change. Know what she did? She told the cash register to "have a nice day." That's right. She spoke directly to the cash register and told it to have a nice day. Yeah, I thought she was pretty strange, too.
And not long before that, I had a young man at another store tell the floor to have a nice day. And again, more recently, when I was at a fast food chain, the lady who handed me the meal looked off into space and told someone out there to "have a nice day."
Now, some can profess that they were doing the right thing. Almost. Sure, the words were there, but the meaning and sincerity sure weren't. If you're telling the cash register and floor to have a nice day, you're really not doing any good. Try looking in the customer's eyes and saying it. It'll mean so much more. And oh, by the way, "Have a nice day" doesn't even count unless you're smiling.
Then there's the phone call that ends with the same phrase. Because it's impossible to say that phrase while looking into the caller's eyes directly, it must be said with more conviction. And yes, that good old smile still needs to be there as well.
Don't forget, there are many other ways to end a conversation besides "Have a nice day." Here are just a few (and I'm betting you can think of a batch of your own):
•"Thanks for calling."
•"I enjoyed talking with you."
•"Good to hear from you."
•"Enjoy your day."
•"Have a beautiful day."
As I said, you can probably add to these suggestions. Remember, there are plenty of synonyms for "good." You don't need to be stuck on that one word.
People like to do business with people who are nice and, more importantly, friendly. It's that simple. The way you can be extra nice is to look people in the eye when you're talking with them. Smile and make it meaningful. On the phone, give the caller your full attention. Even though you've heard the problem or the question 800 times, that one person is probably going through it for the first time.
Enjoy much health and happiness in the new year and make it a great day!
Nancy Friedman is president of Telephone Doctor Customer Service Training in St. Louis and will be an IndyMac Bank-sponsored featured speaker at the NAMB 2005 Annual Convention and Exposition in Minneapolis (see www.namb.org for details). For more information, call (314) 291-1012 or visit www.telephonedoctor.com.