When Dealing with Customers, Remember the HAPPY Acronym


As we all know, companies who provide a high level of customer experience are the ones who are the most successful. If you work in customer service (or any role that deals directly with the customers, such as salespeople), you have a large responsibility on your hands. Whenever you interact directly with the customer, you are essentially acting as the brand ambassador for your entire company. Your actions can make or break the customer experience for that individual…it’s a huge responsibility to work directly with the customers.

Whenever you interact with a customer, it’s imperative to provide the highest level of customer service that you can. There are many ways this can be accomplished, ranging from small gestures that make a customer smile to life-changing events that impact the customer for life. No matter the situation, the key is to consistently provide great service all the time. The goal is to have happy customers because happy customers ultimately will buy more and be more loyal to your brand. Fittingly, we can remember the HAPPY acronym when dealing with customers to help us with this big responsibility.

H – Helpful

Think about the last time you called a customer service number. I’ll bet that you were calling because you either needed clarification on something or you had a problem that needed to be solved. Many customer interactions will involve a certain degree of problem-solving. Therefore, it’s important that you always be helpful. No matter the situation, do you absolute very best to help the customer right there in the moment. Customers will remember those interactions where they were helped and not ignored. Passing the issue off to a different department or a different person may sometimes be required, but do your best to handle the issue right there and be as helpful as possible.

A – Approachable

Being a friendly face or a friendly voice can have a huge impact on the entire customer interaction. A few weeks ago, I had to get to work much earlier than usual. I forgot to set the coffee maker the night before and did not have time to brew a pot in the morning, so I went to a local coffee shop to order my morning caffeine fix instead. Admittedly, I was in a sour mood at the time. When I walked into the store, the cashier greeted me with an enthusiastic smile and a welcoming “Hello sir!” This interaction instantly enhanced my experience and improved my mood. The lesson here is that no matter how good or bad a customer’s mood may be, be approachable and friendly – you never know when a future loyal customer may come!

P – Prized

Customers want to feel important. Nobody wants to simply be customer #18203 – they want to be recognized as an individual and want to feel as if they matter. In all your interactions, make the customer feel as if they are prized. Communicate that you are thankful that they are a customer and that you appreciate their business. If possible, call them by their name and recognize their loyalty. Not only will this help them feel important, but it will also help to calm them down if they are angry or upset with something.

P- Psyched

No matter your mood, be psyched to talk to the customer. In my coffee example above, the cashier seemed genuinely happy that I was ordering coffee from them. When dealing with customers, always use the 3 E’s (energy, excitement, and enthusiasm). Happiness is contagious and being excited that a customer is interacting with you can really help with the overall experience.

Y – Yes

Customers hate to be told “no.” If they have an issue or a problem with something, they are seeking a resolution and for you as the representative to say “yes” to them. However, this doesn’t mean that you always need to say “yes.” Unfortunately, the answer to some requests and issues can only be met with a “no.” The idea here is to say “yes” as often as possible, but when the only available answer is “no”, make sure the customer is in agreeance with you and understands your reasoning. If you are able to get the customer to agree and say “yes” to you, you’ve done a great job and had a successful interaction.

Dealing with customers is a great responsibility. The overall goal of a business is for long-term sustained success. This can only be possible with customer loyalty. Customer loyalty is not possible without a high degree of customer service and a high level of customer experience. In all your interactions, remember the HAPPY acronym and strive to deliver the best experience possible at all times.



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Author: Jason Karaman

Hello! I’m a marketing, sales, and customer service author, blogger and doer. I live in the South Carolina Lowcountry with my wife. I enjoy reading, writing, hiking, kayaking, and all things beach. For media inquiries, send an email to JasonKaraman@ExpertCaller.com

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