Every minute of every day, there is always a customer that isn’t entirely pleased with the service that he is getting. Whether it is about food, some clothes, internet service, or anything else, it is practically written in stone that someone will find something to complain about at some point. And whenever a customer gets angry and things get hairy, it is the customer service team who has the job to address the problem and keep everybody happy. Part of that role is being able to understand the customer’s woes and knowing what to do in order to fix them; yet another part is simply knowing what NOT to say so that things don’t get even worse. Here are a few lines that are best left unsaid during customer service interactions.
1)“What was the problem again?”
For one reason or another, you may find yourself wanting to ask this question, but it’s better not to voice this one out. A customer may not have explained his concern properly or maybe you just couldn’t hear him over the noise in the store, but whatever the reasons may be, they will all just translate to “You’re not listening!” in the customer’s mind. If the customer feels that you don’t care much for them or what they are complaining about, they would be a step closer to just looking for someone else who does and switching over to your competition.
Say instead: “Can you tell me more about the problem that you are having?” And make sure to listen!
2)“It’s not our fault.”
Unless it is a warranty concern or any situation where the one at fault absolutely needs to be identified, pointing fingers is nothing but counterproductive. Don’t play the blame game, because when you say that it’s not your fault, then customers can and will take that as you saying it is their fault, even though the problem may have stemmed anywhere from production to delivery. Focus instead on what the problem is and how to resolve it.
Say instead: “I’m sorry you are having this problem. Let me see what we can do for you and if we can figure out what went wrong so that it won’t happen again.”
3)“There’s nothing we can do.”
Sure there is! Maybe there is no way for you to solve the immediate problem anymore, but you can take steps to ensure that it doesn’t happen again. You can also offer special discounts and freebies to the customer for their trouble so that they don’t lose all faith in your company. Sometimes, the customer just wants you to acknowledge that something did go wrong and wants to be assured that you have listened and learned from the incident. Saying “there’s nothing we can do” is downright lazy and bad customer service.
Say instead: “Regretfully, we were not able to resolve your problem. Rest assured that we have taken steps to prevent the issue from recurring, but in the mean time please accept these <discounts, freebies, or special deals> as an apology for your troubles.”
4)“*#!$@ you too!”
Customers can be annoying normally and can be downright infuriating at the worst of times. However, getting furious yourself only adds another angry person in the mix and is no help in addressing the problem. More than that, it would be simply rude to reciprocate in anger, especially to swear at customers back, just one bad thing on top of another that would leave you with a smaller customer following than you did before. Keep calm, smile, and be the better person in the exchange. Keep the customer happy!
Say instead: “We are doing everything we can to resolve your concerns. Please calm down, tell us how we can help you, and we will see what we can do.” Just hit the gym and go crazy on the punching bag later once you get off of work.
Customer service is almost always a big hassle, and that would never change because there are simply too many people for it not to happen. At least now you know to stay clear of these customer service lines that are better of just said within your mind, and with any luck you’d have just a bit fewer migraines and provide better customer service because of it.
Author’s Bio: Lena Martin is a professional writer specializing in marketing and branding for small businesses. She has a great passion in entrepreneurship and small business and has a degree in Journalism and Marketing Communication in Dallas, TX. As a writer, she uses her entrepreneurial skills to help businesses push through smart marketing and to stand out of the crowd. Check out Lena’s blog at the Small Business Telegram.