One phrase used with a certain customer may not go down too well with another, and it’s important to remember that every customer is an individual.
The phrases you use when talking to customers are crucial for good communication. Word choice and language can have a big effect on how you make a customer feel when talking to your service reps, so you should consider them carefully. Certain phrases such as “it’s not our policy” or “I don’t see what the problem is” could be the difference between keeping a happy customer and one who stops doing business with you forever.
That’s not surprising when you consider that 90% of customers use customer service as a factor when deciding whether or not to do business with a company. Customer service is a top influence on business performance and impacts your bottom line.
We’ve brought together these 7 customer service phrases to use in 2021 to supercharge your customer service experience.
1. I’m happy to help
It may seem obvious that your customer service reps are there to help but it doesn’t hurt to underline the fact that you want to assist your customer in any way that you can. Beginning a customer support interaction with “I’m happy to help” or “I’m here to help” is a good way to build the channels of communication and get the customer to open up with you.
Many customers will walk away from a support interaction without getting their needs met. Consider that 91% of customers will just leave without complaining if they are unhappy with a brand. It’s a good idea to end every support interaction with “Let me know if there’s anything else I can do. I’m happy to help” so customers are invited to share further problems and they are more likely to leave satisfied.
This means customers are encouraged to talk about all their issues even if they might feel they are unimportant or that they are silly questions. You have let the customer know you are willing to solve any problem they may have and provide an exceptional support experience.
2. I’m sorry
A well-timed and sincere apology can go a long way to making an angry or upset customer a little happier. Saying “I’m sorry” means taking responsibility for the customer’s problem and should be combined with offering a solution as well.
Don’t hesitate to offer an apology when a customer gets in touch with a problem. Expand on your apology by saying something like “I’m sorry we mixed up your order” or “I’m sorry you had problems accessing our software”.
There’s no need to excessively apologize – saying it once is enough to express regret on behalf of the company. Saying “I’m sorry” too often makes it sound insincere and trivializes the apology. Save it for when you genuinely need to make amends with a customer because of a problem that is the company’s fault.
3. I don’t know – let me find out for you
Sometimes, you don’t know the answer to a customer’s question and you’ll have to do some digging to find out. Don’t hesitate to let customers know you are looking into their problem and try to give them an estimate of when you’ll get back to them with an answer.
It’s especially useful to use this phrase when talking to customers over the phone. Ask them if they mind waiting on hold while you check the answer or you can call them back. Make sure you actually do get back to the customer once you’ve found the answer.
Don’t emphasize your role in the situation by saying something like “I’m sorry, I’ve never been asked that before”. Keep the focus on the customer and say something like “Let me check with my coworker for the answer to your question” and try to get back to the customer as quickly as possible.
4. I understand how frustrating that must be
Show empathy for your customers by demonstrating that you understand their frustration. You can also say something like “I’d feel the same way”.
This can go a long way to calming down upset customers who might believe that the company just doesn’t “get” why they have a problem. Use this phrase often to show customers that you understand how they feel and that you’re working hard to find a solution.
You can substitute the word “frustrating” for another such as “upsetting” or “annoying” depending on the situation. Use your empathy skills to gauge how the customer is feeling and calibrate your response to their problem.
5. Can I ask the reason why?
This is a good question to use when a customer is complaining about your product or service, potentially in public such as a forum or on social media. As much as we’d like to delete all criticism, the reality is that complainers are all too common and you have to find a way to deal with them.
“Can I ask the reason why?” shows you want to engage with the detractor and you’re willing to learn more about why they feel this way, especially if you proceed it with an empathy statement. This might sound something like “Oh no, I’m really sorry that you feel that way. Can I ask why?” You can’t stop the customer hating on your brand but you can demonstrate that your company cares enough to find out the reason behind the complaint.
You don’t want to come across as the bad guy in these kinds of situations. Politely asking for more information is the best way to deal with complainers and potentially get some valuable feedback for your company.
6. Could you please share more about…?
When you are dealing with a customer support conversation, you’re aiming to:
- Answer the question
- Respond quickly
- Find out the root cause behind the problem
The customer may only value the first two points, but you need to find out the root cause behind the issue if you want to successfully solve the problem and prevent it from recurring again. That’s why you need to ask customers for more information about their issue and let them know that you’re open to their feedback.
Customers will be happy that you’re taking an interest in their problem and are likely to share more of their frustrations with your product. Avoid interrogating the customer or sounding critical when you ask for more information. A simple “could you please share more about why you’re having trouble using this feature?” for example is enough to elicit the right feedback from customers.
7. Thank you
The two most important words you can use when talking to customers are “thank you”. Thank them for being your customer, thank them for bringing the problem to your attention, thank them for taking the time to get in touch.
Customer support teams are in the unique position to be able to thank customers for giving up their time, since customers are truly the lifeblood of the business. Without customer problems to solve, customer support reps would be out of a job. It’s critically important to thank your customers earnestly and often.
Avoid thanking the customer before their issue has been resolved or this could come across as insincere and rude. Make sure you thank the customer at the end of the interaction and consider personalizing your thank you by referencing how long the customer has been doing business with you, if you have access to that information.
Customer Service Phrases to Use in 2021
Consider the phrases you use when communicating with customers carefully and always pay attention to context. One phrase used with a certain customer may not go down too well with another, and it’s important to remember that every customer is an individual.
There is no fail-safe script you can use when interacting with customers, but these phrases will help you craft more personal and satisfying support experiences. Your customers will appreciate you taking the time to find out more about their problems, and for thanking them for their business.
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.