The Power of Language

Why do organisations fail to look after their brand image through the language their representatives use?

See if you recognise any of the following

  • No problem
  • No bother (Scotland)
  • I’m afraid
  • Unfortunately
  • I’m sorry but
  • Obviously
  • As i just told you
  • Sir
  • Due to data protection/company policy/compliance

I have heard all of these many times over in the last few months, used by big name service and sales organisations.

Psychologists have proven in recent years that the words we use, the words themselves – without the influence of how we use them – affect human emotions and behavioural reactions on average for 5 minutes and up to 10 minutes.

Is no surprise that negative language such as the above tends to ignite negative reactions while studies show positive orientated language promotes positive feelings and behaviours.

Therefore, if i really want to ignite a customers negative reaction, lower their confidence, elongate the conversation, create more stress for both parties and destroy the organisations brand image all i have to do is begin combining some of the words above.

Have a go yourself, see how many you can combine for the most toxic effect!

Obviously Sir, due to date protection we cant do that unfortunately” 

And when the customer objects we might make matters worse  with 

“I’m sorry but as i’ve just told you thats company policy, i’m afraid” 

Its easy to spot those teams and organisations that fall below the the standards of language excellence for when things go wrong in the service experience they slip into this style of damaging, emotion igniting language.

Not enough of their leaders are modelling the right behaviours and its likely their training needs to be brought up to date.

Your customer and sales experience is only as good as how it makes your customers feel and behave and the power and influence of language has a huge part to play.

If you would like to find out a a little more about the science behind language, brand and outstanding customer experience contact me at

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