Say this, not that! In customer service, there are certain words and phrases that you’re better off avoiding because they just make things harder for you. Learn the most common trigger phrases in customer service and what you can say instead.
- Sweetie is a trigger word for me. As in, "What can I get for you, sweetie?" It always causes me to pause in shock. Sweetie doesn't offend everyone, but it does stir a lot of grown women. In customer service, there are certain words and phrases that you're better off avoiding because of how they might be perceived. If the wording is seen negatively by your customer, you could be making things harder for yourself without even realizing it. Let's go over some words and phrases that you should avoid when talking to customers and what you can say instead. When you need to correct a confused or mistaken customer, don't be short, don't make them feel foolish, instead, use the words turns out. This makes you sound diplomatic. For example, if the customer says, "Emailing photos is tedious," you could reply using, "Turns out," this way. "Emailing is an option. "Turns out now you can also text claims photos to us." You also want to avoid words that elicit negative feelings. Was the customer's card declined? Never say your card was declined. Try, "I'm having trouble authorizing your card." Is the problem the customer's fault? Don't say, "That's because you're using it incorrectly." Instead, how about, "Let's take a look and see what's going on." And rather than so the widget is defective, say, "It's not working as it should." Avoiding words that draw out negative feelings helps you keep conversations positive. You also should be thinking carefully about your words to ease the blow of bad news. Any time you have to tell customers what they don't want to hear, you need to take extra care to make the bad news easy to accept. Here are a couple of examples. Customers hate having to be transferred. Don't make this harder for customers by matter-of-factly stating, "Hold while I transfer you." Soften this up a bit, like this. "The best team to answer this question "is our reservations department. "If you'll hold a moment, I'll transfer you." Don't say, "My manager will just tell you "the same thing I'm telling you," because this sounds defensive and will make the customer push to escalate. Try, "I can certainly transfer you to a manager. "I'd like first to try to explain what's going on here "before transferring, will that work for you?" It's also best to avoid saying, "No. "There's nothing we can do," and, "I don't know." Always work to put a positive slant on things. You will have fewer upset customers which translates to better days for you too.