News & Insight

Optimism is Contagious Especially in Customer Service

Are you a ‘glass-half-full’ person or a ‘glass-half-empty’ person? Your answer may determine whether you are perpetually an optimist – someone who always thinks that good things will happen – or a pessimist – someone who always thinks that bad things will happen. Perhaps Winston Churchill said it best when he stated, “A pessimist sees the difficulty in every opportunity; an optimist sees the opportunity in every difficulty.” When it comes to the interactions your customers have with your brand, you can’t afford to have a pessimistic mindset. You must look for the opportunity in every customer engagement to improve customer facing metrics such as satisfaction, retention, sales conversion, and net promoter scores. How? Start by communicating optimism.

Eliminate the Negative

When consumers experience an unexpected expense on their wireless bill, issues with a new product they just purchased, or delays in receiving an online order, they understandably react in ways that demonstrate their frustration. These stressful situations are often charged with negative emotion, and more often than not, it’s your engagement specialists (agents) who must try to defuse the tension. One effective method is to communicate optimism by describing and explaining events, especially unfavorable occurences, in ways that diminish their ability to negatively impact emotions. Consumers who express their concerns pessimistically are often looking for reassurance that the situation or problem is neither permanent nor pervasive. How your engagement specialists handle the situation will determine the customer’s perception of your brand. Make sure your engagement specialists create a positive and lasting impression by following these three key tips:

  • Take direct responsibility for handling identified needs.
  • Make language choices that serve to frame the situation optimistically.
  • Discuss what can be done rather than what isn’t possible.

Accentuate the Positive

By now, you may be thinking that communicating optimism is a lot like looking through rose-colored glasses. However, optimism is not about glossing over difficulties and pretending that everything is perfect. Instead, optimism requires one to take control over a situation and fix the problem rather than avoid it. By using an optimistic frame and explaining problems as temporary and fixable, it’s possible to reduce the stress your customers feel, which increases their overall engagement in conversations with your brand.

Under the direction of our chief science officer, STARTEK helps clients leverage the principles of human communication to orchestrate the ideal customer engagement. This includes coaching engagement specialists to use meaningful phrases that are likely to evoke positive customer interactions while discouraging the use of phrases that are likely to confuse customers or cause negative repsonses.

In fact, STARTEK recently assisted a regional cable provider by deploying a solution that helped engagement specialists learn and adopt conversational habits that built emotional connection. By the end of the first year, the company had increased its Net Promoter score by 10% and decreased escalations by 26%.1 STARTEK can help your brand deliver similar results and bridge the gap between science and communication.

While no-win customer care situations are the new norm, they are also opportunities to deepen your engagement with customers and finally improve customer satisfaction and loyalty scores.

Source: STARTEK “Winning the No-win Situation Customer Care Situation” Jan. 2017

Learn how STARTEK helped a regional cable provider increase its net promoter score by responding to concerns optimistically and with emotional understanding. Or, visit our website at to learn more.