In our last blog we talked about the holy grail customer care phrases an agent should use. In this one, we will discuss the ones that should be avoided, as they are just as important.
Follow up for tips that will help you navigate through the complicated areas of customer communication.
A straight-up ‘No’ is never a good answer. It creates negativity, and negativity is something that should not be present in conversation with a customer.
Of course, that doesn’t mean you should say ‘yes’ to everything. Sometimes a ‘no’ is a ‘no,’ the point is to find a way around it.
For example, if a customer asks – ‘Is there a way you can help me at all?’ – you can respond, ‘I really wish there was, but this is all I can do at the moment.’, or ‘I am afraid not.’
There is a difference. One approach would leave the customer puzzled and even slightly irritated, the other will make him feel understood and valued.
2. Calm down.
Telling an upset or angry person to calm down always adds more fuel to his fire.
Shield yourself with patience and allow the customer to express himself. Then tread lightly, show you understand, and have already put yourself in their position. The phrase ‘I would’ve felt the same.’ is perfect for the occasion to use instead. Apply reverse psychology, if the customer comes to fight, strike them with the opposite.
3. You are not right.
Now, that might be true, but customers are very familiar with the motto “The customer is always right.” and they will use it against you.
Find a way around it. Use ‘I think there must be some kind of misconception here. Allow me to help you.’, or ‘I can see where the misconception came from, but I can help you out.’
Nobody likes being told that he is wrong. Thus, be descriptive and polite when you are telling someone so.
4. I don’t understand.
The truth is, sometimes you will not. But as a care evangelist, you must encourage the customer to explain his problem best of his abilities. Saying, ‘I don’t understand’ will not pursue them to do so.
Be attentive and ask more questions. You will eventually get the information needed to help.
5. This is not my fault.
It doesn’t matter whose fault it is.
But if the customer wants to put the blame on you, then apologize and move on. Focus on the goal at hand – to help.
Phrases like ‘I understand how you feel, and I am here to help.’ and ‘I would’ve been just as frustrated, allow me to fix this.’ can forward the conversation in a more favorable direction.
6. Hold on.
Nobody likes waiting. Yet alone a customer who has already spent enough time in a queue to get to the call.
If you need assistance while dealing with his inquiry, kindly let him know that he has to wait a couple more minutes. Assure him that you will be back shortly with a solution to his problem.
7. There is nothing I can do to help.
‘I don’t know.’ is a phrase that does not belong to the care agent’s vernacular.
There will be situations in which you will not be able to help, but that doesn’t mean you cannot offer a piece of advice.
‘I don’t know.’ will close the customer’s doors and will definitely spoil your reputation as an expert.
8. We’ve never dealt with such a problem before.
Your customers want to feel confident about your business.
Saying something along the lines of ‘We’ve never dealt with such a problem before.’ will expose you as an amateur that lacks competence and does not care about the customer journey quality.
There are no ways around it, just avoid it at all costs.
9. What’s your name again?
As a support agent, you will hear many names a day. It’s absolutely normal for you to get distracted and not remember who you are talking to.
Taking notes during the conversation is a good idea having in mind the amount of information that you’re dealing with daily.
10. This is not my department, you will have to contact…
Never leave the customer hanging. Even if he has contacted the wrong department, transfer him with the right one.
Or, if you are not sure which exactly is the department that can assist with the inquiry, connect them to the point of contact that will know.
As a care agent, you will often work under a lot of pressure.
You will have happy clients, angry clients, confused clients, and you will have to help all of them.
Your words can make or break the communication, so we advise you to choose them wisely.