“Have a Nice Day”

By Nancy Friedman, Telephone Doctor

How many times a day do you think “Have a nice day,” is said to someone? How many times has the phrase been said to you in one day? I’m often asked if “Have a nice day” can be said too many times?

The answer is “yes.” If you’re saying it to the same person over and over, that might get annoying. However, for the average person, hearing a genuine “Have a nice day,” can be a good thing to hear – “genuine” being the key word.

For example, the other day I was in a video store and where I 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. Then, 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 strange, too.

Not long before that, I had a young man at another store tell the floor to have a nice day. More recently, when I was at a fast food chain, the lady who handed me the meal looked off in 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 or the floor to have a nice day, you’re not doing any good. Try looking into the customer’s eyes and saying it. It’ll mean so much more. And oh, by the way, saying “Have a nice day” doesn’t count unless you’re smiling.

There’s also 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 needs to be said with more conviction. Yes, that good old smile still needs to be there, too.

Don’t forget, there are many other ways to end a conversation besides saying, “Have a nice day.” Here are just a few examples:

“Thanks for calling.”

“I enjoyed talking with you.”

“Good to hear from you.”

“Enjoy your day.”

“Have a beautiful day.”

Remember, there are many synonyms for good. You don’t need to be stuck on that one word.  People like to do business with individuals who are polite and more importantly, friendly. It’s that simple. A 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 1,000 times, that one person is most probably going through it for the first time.

Thanks for listening. Make it a great day!

Nancy Friedman is President of Telephone Doctor, a customer service training company in St. Louis, MO.

[From Connection Magazine May 2005]