There are numerous phrases than can turn a fairly standard phone call from a customer into a truly horrible experience for the caller, as well as the call center agent handling the call. The reason these phrases have become big turn-offs for customers is largely due to their overuse, or their implied meanings, which are often not nice.
- “Is it turned on/plugged in?” Asking a customer if they were smart enough to push the power button or plug the cord into the wall makes them feel inferior. They might feel resentment, hurt, or even anger. It is better to ask something along the lines of could they please unplug and plug it back in; this often results in them discovering their mistake on their own.
- “I can’t help you with that … ” The last thing a customer wants to hear, especially if they were on hold for a while, is that the customer service rep (CSR) cannot help them. Enable your employees to make decisions and take ownership of issues.
- “To be perfectly honest with you … ” This phrase makes it sound like the CSR was not being honest with the customer up to this point.
- “But first, you need to … ” Telling customers this can result in them telling you they do not need to do anything and turn a calm situation into an irate one. Change the wording up a little to something like: “Most of our customers have reported it works best if you try this first.”
- “I’m not going to help you until you calm down.” If the caller is already angry when they call, this will only make them even more upset. To diffuse an irate caller, it is better to show empathy for them and their situation, treat them with kindness, and give them the attention they are seeking, while getting to the heart of their problem/issue.
These same phrases should also be avoided when dealing with customers face-to-face. For access to friendly, experienced, and trained CSRs, call Always Answer at 1-800-606-9898 and speak with a representative now.