After I have a tremendous service experience, for example a great meal out at a spectacular restaurant, a pleasant stay at a top-notch hotel, or a blissfully relaxing stint at a spa, I always get delightfully pleased when the response to my enthusiastic thank you is: "My pleasure!" or "Happy to do it!" or even the old stand-by "You are welcome!" Is this because I'm a hopeless nerd? A silly sap? Yes, but I'm also well aware of how the words we speak affect people differently.
Consider same service experience, and if that effusive thank you was met with "No problem. . . ." It just wouldn't have the same ring in my ear or affect me the same way. These days it seems like the refrain "no problem" is everywhere. No problem to hold the door. No problem to help you understand an issue on your dental bill. No problem to treat you painlessly. The problem with all of these scenarios is that the word "problem" instantly frames a situation negatively. And the word “no” is in and of itself the most negative word out there. There is a frame shift that occurs in your mind when someone greets your enthusiasm with "No Problem" because it insinuates that the service that was just dolloped out all over you was indeed problematic.
In my dental practice I make sure my team members are always meeting thank you's with a Ritz-Carlton "My pleasure" or a Walt Disney "Happy to do it!" The other hidden benefit of saying “happy to do it” is that it is hard to say it without indeed feeling a bit of happiness yourself! This makes the recipient even more impressed with their level of service. As the patient prances out the door, with those welcome words ringing in their brain, they leave the practice eager to tell others of the great service they had.
This isn't a special privilege just doled out to patients though. We all tell each other "happy to do it" when a request is made for something. It can be as simple as helping to clean a room, running needed supplies to another operatory, or seating a patient when another teammate is running behind. When the request is made, instead of "No problem" we respond "Happy to do it!" This "Happy to do it" culture makes team members more eager to seek out ways to help and builds the trust between teammates daily.
How do you respond when patients tell you thanks? How do you handle compliments and requests from your team?