Think wordsmithing is only for politicos? Even Apple Store staff get a list on what words to use. This makes for good branding, likely involves legal concerns, but also is a key to messaging and persuasion as every good diplomat knows. Words matter.
In one example, Geniuses are told how to respond to a customer who feels a Mac may be too expensive for them. The employee is advised to employ the three Fs, saying “I can see how you’d feel this way. I felt the price was a little high, but I found it’s a real value because of all the built-in software and capabilities.”
Also included in the employee manual is a list of things Geniuses are not allowed to say. Geniuses can say that an application “unexpectedly quits” or “does not respond,” but are not allowed to say that the software “crashed.” Similarly, there can be a “condition,” an “issue” or a “situation,” but not a “bug” or a “problem.”
The purpose of the strategy is not only to make the customer feel good, but also has legal justification. The manual states that AppleCare legal counsel has defined certain terms that “should be avoided when discussing product issues with customers.”