When spoken with a particular tone, specific phrases can instantly infuriate and frustrate customers. Here are some alternatives to consider:
- Avoid: “I don’t know.” Instead, try “That’s a good question. Let me check and find out.”
- Avoid: “Just a second.” Instead, try “It could take me a few minutes to get that information. Could you hold while I check, or should I call you back in ten minutes?”
- Avoid: “Wait.” Instead, try “I haven’t gotten to that yet.”
- Avoid: “We can’t do that for you.” Instead, try “That’s a tough one. Let me see what I can do.”
- Avoid: “You’ll have to…” Instead, try “Here’s how we can help you.”
- Avoid: “That’s not my job.” Instead, try “I usually don’t handle that area, but I know who can help you. Let me see if he’s available.”
- Avoid: “It’s your fault.” Instead, try “The way this process works is…
- Avoid: “Why didn’t you do…?” Instead, try “Our process expects you to…”
- Avoid: “How’s that my concern?” Instead, try, “I understand how upset you are.”
- Avoid: “I know!” Instead, try “Yes, you’re right.”
- Avoid: “As I explained earlier… Instead, try “Let’s review the steps again.”
- Avoid: “Don’t you understand?” Instead, try, “Am I understandable thus far?”
- Avoid: “Are you done?” Instead, try, “Will there be anything else?”
Master the art of words and deliver customer service messages with a confident, sympathetic tone. Create a personalized list of “Do Say” and “Don’t Say” phrases, drawing from your own experiences.
Reflect on the pain points and communication barriers that specifically frustrated you as a customer during customer service calls, as well as the instances where representatives provided positive interactions. Identify effective approaches and avoid pitfalls when engaging with customers.