How You Say it Matters - Improving Customer Satisfaction on Caltrain

How you say something matters, the tone, the word choice, your inflection and facial expression. It can make the difference between a pleasant interaction and a bad one, even if what you have to say isn't in favor of the customer. This is something I find women understand much faster than men. It's become a bit of a joke now, as something girlfriends say to their boyfriends, but there's truth behind the chuckles.

Just think about it for a minute - do you like to be harshly spoken to or yelled at?

I don't know if Caltrain was running an experiment the other day, but my morning commute felt better all because of the new, calm, and professional voice over the intercom. It sounded like they hired someone from the airline industry to help out and it really made a positive difference. Many announcements, especially during times when the train is running late or is crowded, are gruff, sarcastic, and have that distinctive DMV-everything-sucks flavor. This puts everyone on edge, even those who already have seats, and creates a stressful atmosphere.

Why? There's no need for it. The new announcer proves you can communicate the same information in a pleasant way that increases customer satisfaction.