By Mark Rounds, VP of Corporate Development

I was on a leadership retreat and had an interesting interaction with a restaurant host at the hotel where we stayed. I wandered into the restaurant before the morning event and was greeted by the host wearing a uniform with white gloves who asked “may I help you?” I asked if I could have some hot tea. A few moments passed and the host delivered a kettle of hot water, a mug and a selection of teas. I chose my tea and said “thank you very much” to which the host replied “no problem.”

This response caught me off guard. What did they mean by “no problem?” I had always been taught that the customary response to “thank you” is “you’re welcome.” My confusion centered on the thought: what if what I asked for was a problem, would this individual not have helped me?

The words “no problem” is a problem for us as a service business. “No problem” is internally focused. It implies an “if” statement. In other words: If it’s no problem for me, I will help you. “You’re welcome,” on the other hand, focuses on the one who is being served and not the server. Has it become more and more customary for us to respond to a “thank you” with “no problem?” When did this happen? When did the server take the focus off the customer and put it upon him- or herself?

In a world where customer service is increasingly more important, Vogel Bros. believes in putting the focus on you—the customer. After all, we are grateful to have the opportunity to work for you. Thank you; it’s our pleasure to be your builder.