“That which we call rose by any other name would smell as sweet.”
Not to discredit the greatest love story of all time, or create the greatest debate that Reman U has ever seen, but sorry Will. You are wrong.
Names matter, they give life to an inanimate object, purpose to a place, and have the potential to define the persona of an individual. Referring to something incorrectly immediately stains the speaker’s reliability and causes confusion.
Words matter. When our customer-facing team members use the correct word, in the right context, and with the accurate pronunciation it shows that they are knowledgeable, educated and trustworthy in the field.
Years ago, when women were still a rarity in the automotive world, I worked behind a parts counter. As women, we had to prove our ability and worth to stand and deliver car parts. It was myself and another female on duty that day. A man came to the counter and told her, “I need one of these”. He likely didn’t know the correct name either, however she spun around, waving the part in her hands asking what this “thingy” was. It was a tie rod end.
Had my coworker used even a remotely relevant word (or said nothing at all) the situation could have had a completely different undertone. She was immediately discredited. Any trust was lost. A tie rod is a thing. However it is not a “thingy”.
The words we choose to use impact the perception of the situation. Is that component you are replacing a defect? Or is it a warranty item? Are you telling your customer what you can’t do, or what you can? There is an invisible power within the words we choose to use. Train and enforce the use of proper terminology.
As professionals we must also be cognizant of the words our customers are speaking. They are not specialists, most are not even amateurs. The words used to describe an issue may be out of context. Is that really a slip? Or is it more of a hesitation? Will the vehicle not move at all? Or just not forward? It is our job to determine if the statements are fact, or if they are being quoted from an internet search.
Words can be hard. The English language is tricky. Homophones vs. homonyms, slang, acronyms, and abbreviations make getting the point across an epic battle at times. Be accurate in your speech in an attempt to limit confusion in conversation.
And if all else fails…. ASK!