The Big Problem With “No Problem” – Customer Service 101

The Big Problem With “No Problem” – Customer Service 101

I’ve worked in customer service for a long time. I have also been a customer for a long time. And my number one peeve, without a doubt, is hearing these two words: “No problem.”

Me, after receiving a latte I ordered: “Thank you!”

Customer Service Barista human: “No problem.”


Sometimes I say that. Sometimes I say that under my breath. But always I want to scream that.

By saying “No problem”, the service person is implying that the customer – or the customer’s request – could be a problem but just isn’t at this time. But using the barista as an example, his or her job is to make drinks for customers … pleasantly, competently and with a smile (and it you work for the awesome, you had better lay down some sweet latte art.) By ordering a latte, I am simply asking that barista to do their job which they are being paid for which should never be a problem for me or the barista.

Everyone who has ever worked for me has learned, both from my guidance and from employee manuals, that saying “No problem” is NOT okay (nor is RBF but that is for another post.) And don’t even try to substitute “No worries!” Why would I be worried that I asked you to make me a latte? THAT IS QUITE LITERALLY YOUR JOB.

If you are in customer service and you say “No problem” to me, you are, at the minimum, going to get the look!


I use the example of a time when saying “No problem” is acceptable. Say Angie is a customer who comes into the coffee shop and orders a latte. She says, “Thank you” after receiving her order. The barista says, “You’re welcome.”

A few minutes later, Angie comes back into the store and says her car battery is dead. The barista says she has jumper cables in her car and can help. The barista pulls her car around to Angie’s, connects the jumper cables and lets Angie’s car battery recharge. Upon leaving, Angie says, “Thanks!” And the barista says, “No problem!” See the difference? It wasn’t a problem because the barista was being nice and doing something that was above and beyond her job description.

The phrase “No problem” is not interchangeable with “You’re welcome.” It is not even close. “My pleasure.” “I would be happy to.” “Absolutely.” Those are all appropriate customer service responses that are music to my ears.

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