7 Support Phrases Customers Hate to Hear (and What to Say Instead)

Lily Kaligian Lily Kaligian · 5 min read

There is nothing worse than using one of these support phrases and make your customers really angry.

Running a business is a stressful job, and even if you are doing everything you can to keep all your customers happy, you’re bound to suffer some meltdowns.

That’s why you should prepare your customer service representatives to avoid using expressions or customer support phrases that might seem offensive to clients. When people are mad, they are very vocal about it.

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Have you ever heard that if a customer had a negative experience with the brand, he or she is more likely to spread the news then someone who had a good experience? You can be sure that a customer bursting up in flames will do everything they can to damage your reputation.

But if you prepare yourself beforehand, you will be able to help your customer service reps avoid these common pitfalls.

Here are 7 customer support phrases that your customers hate to hear and examples of what to say instead:

support phraes- it's our policy1. “It’s our policy.”

Imagine a customer who purchased a defective product from you and the only thing you say to them is that you’re not able to adequately address their needs because your policy prevents it.

The idea that you clean your hands out of responsibility and choose to go with this common excuse will make them even angrier.

When using this phrase in any interaction with customers, you will be showing that you’re unwilling to bend the rules to please them or address their needs accordingly. If you want to build higher customer retention, make sure that your reps avoid that phrase.

Instead, they should ask the client how they can help them or say something along the lines: “Let’s see what I can do about it.” What these support phrases do is they instantly calm an angry customer.

If you show that you are interested in solving their problem rather than instructing them away with a simple excuse, they will be much more understanding – even if you fail to solve their problem as they wished at first.

Support phrases- There is nothing, I can do about that2. “There is nothing I can do about that.”

Your reps should never, ever say this phrase to your customers. By doing that, they will be showing that the customer’s problem isn’t that important to you. You will only be wasting their time, and angry people hate their time to be lost.

Naturally, it may happen that you don’t know what to do next. But instead of resigning and just saying that there is nothing you can do to help the customer, it’s better to adopt a proactive approach and let them know that you will try to find the answer.

Be honest and show your clients that you care. That way you will improve your reputation even if the customer had a bad experience with your product or service.

Don’t be afraid to take on the responsibility – that’s something most customers appreciate.

Don’t quit, leave the situation or pass the problem to someone else. Customers who get dragged from one person to another tend to get angrier with every minute. Also, always leave some options ready just in case your product or service fails to satisfy your clients.

Customer Phrases- This problem is manufacturers respo..3. “This problem is the manufacturer’s responsibility.”

When you use that phrase, you’re basically admitting that you have no power whatsoever to help the customer even though you got their money. This is a terrible excuse, and as a seller, you need to assume full responsibility for what you’re selling – even if you’re not the one who actually manufactures the product.

Showing that you care even after you make the sale is significant here. Instead of saying that the problem is caused by the manufacturer and it’s their responsibility to solve it, say something along these lines. “We can help you with that problem by contacting the manufacturer.”

This phrase suggests that you are willing to look for a solution. Hearing these words will make an angry customer calm down and be more open to reaching a compromise with you.

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Support phrases- you are wrong4. “You’re wrong.”

It doesn’t matter how you phrase that. You can say “I’m so sorry, but I believe you’re wrong” or choose a brusque manner and tell customers that they are simply wrong.

This is a big no-no and causes a real disaster in brand-customer relationships. Not only will you sound condescending, but also avoid taking responsibility for the problem.

If a client experiences a problem with your product, you should take their word for it and – even if you believe that the information they gave you might be inaccurate – never show it. Instead, demonstrate full understanding and politely listen to the words of your customers.

By showing them respect, you will not only calm them down but also help them describe the problem more accurately. So start asking questions instead of assuming that they’ve got the wrong end of the stick.

Support Phrases- I'm sorry5. “I’m sorry, but we’re a little busy right now.”

Is it even possible that you are too busy to take care of a customer?

When an angry customer who is trying to report a problem hears that phrase, you can be sure that their anger will explode. By saying that, you are showing that you don’t really care much about their problem and have more important business to attend to.

That type of attitude can only end badly.

Instead, offer the customer alternative means of contacting you or reporting a problem. You could also offer them a time estimate required to address their issue correctly. Be honest, but offer them alternative solutions.

Support Phrases- we cant do that

6. “We can’t do that.”

They say that “can’t” often means “won’t try” – and they’re right! Customers want to see you make at least make an effort to help them. If you don’t take even a minimal step toward providing them with a solution, they will merely think that you don’t care about them.

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And why should they care about you?

Instead of saying that you can’t do something, say that it might be hard to achieve, but you’re going to do everything in your power to address the needs of the customer and try to come up with a solution.

 you'll have to7. “You’ll have to…”

Sometimes it’s not even about what you say, but how you say it.

Customers don’t like to be told what to do. By saying that they have to or need to do something, you will only sound condescending and make them responsible for solving their problem.

Instead, try to phrase it differently and take on full responsibility for getting as much done in their favor as possible.


This list is just the tip of the iceberg.

There are plenty more customer service phrases and words they hate to hear, and you should be aware of all of them.

Do you know any other support phrases that make them really angry? Be sure to share them to help everyone learn best practices in customer service and providing better service for everyone to enjoy.

Using the right words with your customers can make a lasting impact on your relationships. So we’ve rounded up a list of phrases you should use and avoid in your support career. 



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Lily Kaligian Lily Kaligian

Lily Kaligian is an editor at Businesscheck.co.nz and Canadabiz.net. She creates a variety of articles about careers, entrepreneurship, technology, business, education, as well as travel and personal development.

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