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Everything and anything that touches a customer – directly or indirectly – is Customer Service. Paying particular attention therefore to what we say to them and how we say it is really important. As alternatives in the market place increase, so does the customer’s power to make choices also increase.  Our utterances to customers sometimes, no matter how innocent we may think they are, actually have an adverse effect of annoying them. How do you then make sure that your communication is good enough to make your customers stick with you? By avoiding these comments and phrases:


1. "That's not my job."

Not only do you avoid handling the customer's issue yourself, you offer no solution from anyone.

They will want to hear: "I know just the person who can help you, let me introduce you to them."


2. "The economy/industry is really bad. Everyone is struggling."

They know that already, and would not appreciate hearing you whine about it or use it as an excuse!

They will want to hear: "Challenges are opportunities in disguise, so we will do our best to deliver."


3. "But that's what they told me to say."

This creates an automatic disconnect with the customer, as any confidence they had in your ability to assist or advise them is lost.

They will want to hear: "Let me confirm the details and get back to you please."


4. "I'm surprised you haven't heard about our service/product."

This sounds a bit condescending, arrogant, and insulting, implying that they are ignorant.

They will want to hear: "Since you said our service/product is unfamiliar to you, is it OK if I took a few minutes to describe it and answer any questions?"


5. “Didn’t you read the instructions?”

That is like a red flag to a bull, and it will surely enrage your customer! Even if it’s their fault, do not imply it.

They will want to hear: “Let me try walking you through the process.”


6. "Really? You're the first person to complain about our service."

This implies that the customer is a troublemaker, and that your company can do no wrong.

They will want to hear: "Thank you so much for bringing this to our attention. Even though we hear plenty of compliments about our service, we know there's always room for improvement.”


Now we’re talking!  Make your customers feel that you care. You cannot solve all their problems, but with the right words, you can certainly make them happier than when they first contacted you.


"Customer service is a voluntary act that demonstrates a genuine desire to satisfy, if not delight, a customer." —Steve Curtin, author of “Delight Your Customers”

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