We Aim to Please: Definition, Meaning, and Origin

Last Updated on
November 18, 2023

The phrase “we aim to please” is often used in a business context to express that the satisfaction of the customer is their main priority. It means that they strive to meet the needs and expectations of their customers. This phrase can also be used humorously, sarcastically, or satirically. For instance, it can be used in response to a thank you, to say that they are happy to help or provide service.

In short:

  • The phrase is about doing your best to make people happy or meet their needs.
  • It's often heard in settings where service or satisfaction is important, but it can also be used casually.

What Does "We Aim to Please" Mean?

If someone says, "we aim to please," they're telling you that making people happy is their main goal. For instance, you might hear a waiter say this after getting you an extra side of sauce, or a friend might say it after helping you move furniture. It's a way to confirm that they're trying their best to make you happy or meet your needs.

Let's break it down a bit more:

  • The phrase is all about striving to satisfy others, whether in quality of service or just in everyday actions.
  • While the intent behind the expression may be good, it is widely regarded as a cliché.
  • You'll often hear it in customer service or hospitality, but friends and family use it, too.
  • It's a quick way to say you're open to feedback and want to meet or exceed expectations.
  • While commonly heard in businesses, it's also used just to make people smile or feel appreciated.
  • Similar phrases you might hear include "happy to help," "at your service," and "how can I assist you?"

Where Does "We Aim to Please" Come From?

The phrase “we aim to please” was originally used as a commercial slogan, meaning “our customers’ satisfaction is our goal,” and has been in use since at least the early 19th century. The phrase was first found in an amateur-dramatic group’s motto in the Madras Courier (Madras, Tamil Nadu, India) of Tuesday 22nd July 1817. It was later used as a commercial slogan in the American Traveller (Boston, Massachusetts, USA) of Tuesday 20th August 1833.

Historical Example

"We will do anything we can to oblige you. We aim to please our readers."

- The Poultry Keeper, Volume 3, 1886

10 Examples of "We Aim to Please" in Sentences

To give you a better understanding of how to use this phrase, let's go through some examples from various situations:

  • After serving the perfect cup of coffee, the barista said, "We aim to please!
  • To help you land a job, we offer extensive career guidance because we aim to please you.
  • During the flight, the attendant offered extra snacks and said, "We aim to please our passengers."
  • Come rain or shine, delivering top-quality service is how we aim to please our customers.
  • When the team completed the project, the manager announced, "We aim to please our clients."
  • Punctuality is the soul of business. We aim to please so you can always count on us to be on time.
  • After helping a customer find the perfect gift, the salesperson said, "Here at this store, we aim to please."
  • Ensuring you're happy with our service isn't just a goal; it's a must because we aim to please.
  • At the end of the guided tour, the guide told the visitors, "We aim to please, hope you had a great time!"
  • When the waiter received a large tip, he thanked the customer and said, "We aim to please."

Examples of "We Aim to Please" in Pop Culture

This phrase also shows up now and then in movies, TV shows, and other forms of entertainment.

Here are some fun examples:

  • The song “We Aim To Please” is performed by Mae Questel & Jack Mercer. The lyrics include, "We aim to please, It’s our business to be at your service, We aim to please."
  • The song “My Parties” by Dire Straits includes the line, "It’s casual entertaining - we aim to please."
  • The short film “We Aim to Please” from 1934 features Olive Oyl and Popeye opening up a diner, dealing with customers including Wimpy and Bluto.

Synonyms: Other/Different Ways to Say "We Aim to Please"

If you're looking for other ways to express the same idea, here you go:

  • Happy to help
  • At your service
  • Your wish is my command
  • Going the extra mile
  • Here to serve
  • Doing our best
  • Making you happy is our goal
  • We're all about customer satisfaction
  • We're here to make your day
  • Your satisfaction is our mission

10 Frequently Asked Questions About "We Aim to Please":

  • What does "we aim to please" mean?

"We aim to please" means that the goal is to make someone happy or satisfied, usually through service or action. It's a way to say that you're trying your best to meet someone's needs or expectations.

  • How can I use "we aim to please" in a sentence?

You can use this phrase to assure someone that you're trying to meet their expectations or requirements. For example: "If you have any special requests for your birthday party, just let us know. We aim to please!"

  • Is the phrase used more in business or personal life?

This phrase is commonly used in both business and personal life. In business, it often appears in customer service situations. In personal life, you might say it when doing a favor for a friend or family member.

  • Does it have to be service-related?

No, it doesn't have to be service-related. You can use it in any context where you're trying to make someone happy, whether it's through service, a gift, or some other action.

  • Can the phrase be used sarcastically?

Yes, it can be used sarcastically. If you say "we aim to please" in a tone that suggests you're not really trying to please anyone, the phrase can convey irony.

  • What's the tone of this phrase?

The tone is generally positive and accommodating. It indicates a willingness to meet someone's needs or expectations.

  • Is it an old-fashioned phrase?

While the phrase has been around for a while, it's not considered old-fashioned. It's still widely used today in various situations.

  • Is it formal or informal?

"We aim to please" is versatile and can be used in both formal and informal settings. The level of formality often depends on tone and context.

  • Can it be used globally?

Yes, the phrase is understood in many English-speaking parts of the world. However, its usage might vary based on cultural norms and customer service practices.

  • Does it only refer to groups, or can individuals use it too?

Both groups and individuals can use the phrase. An individual might say it to indicate personal commitment to satisfying someone else's needs or wants.

Final Thoughts About "We Aim to Please"

The expression "we aim to please" is a flexible way to express a desire to meet someone's needs or expectations. It's widely used in various situations, from business to personal life.

Here's a quick recap:

  • It's a phrase often used to express a goal of satisfying someone.
  • It can be used in both formal and informal settings.
  • It's an overused phrase that has become trite and predictable to most people.
  • The phrase doesn't have to relate solely to service; it can apply to any effort to please.
  • Individuals or groups can use it to indicate their commitment to making someone happy.

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