5 Customer Service Phrases to Avoid at All Costs

No company has 100% happy customers.

And you don’t want to fan the flame if you don’t have to.

Saying the wrong thing can cost you many customers because the customer will share their negative experience with everyone else they know.

Think about a time you had poor customer service.

How did you react?

So, let’s talk about some customer service phrases you should avoid so you have as many happy customers as possible:

1. Your call is important to us

Don’t say it or any other cliche customer service phrase.

Because, everyone else does.

The phrase gets overused. It’s meaningless.

And customers roll their eyes when they hear it.

You won’t be off to a good start.

Because recovering from an early mistake is so difficult, you always want to start off on the right foot if you can.

2. Our apologies for any inconvenience

This phrase makes it sound like you’re dodging responsibility.

Inconvenience? Of course there’s inconvenience!

That’s why the customer is calling you.

Instead of apologizing generally for the possibility of any inconvenience, apologize right now for the specific inconvenience caused.

For example: “I’m sorry your product arrived damaged.”

That makes the customer feel way more comfortable. And it’ll be a lot easier to help them fix their problem.

3. Sorry you feel that way

This insincere apology again doesn’t take any responsibility.

It only serves to increase your customer’s anger and frustration.

So again you want to take ownership and apologize for something specific.

Your customer calms down because they see you understand their situation.

And now they begin to trust you will take the right action to remedy it.

4. You’ll have to…

This drives your customers up the wall because, by the time they’ve called you, they’ve already tried to fix their own problem in a few ways.

They don’t want to sit on the phone and risk minutes of their precious time to get an answer.

But since they’ve had no luck fixing their problem, they’ve now called you.

“You’ll have to…” only makes them feel bossed around when they’re already annoyed.

Not what they want to hear!

So instead of that, make this a team effort where you both work together to fix the customer’s problem.

Use phrases such as:

  1. First, let’s verify…
  2. Now, we can…
  3. Let’s…

You both are now working to resolve the customer’s issue. And that helps them relax.

5. Uh… Um…

Avoid these words as much as possible.

They indicate that you’re thinking and not quite sure what to do next.

This can communicate to your customer that you’re new and lack confidence.

They may not trust that you can solve their problem. And they might begin to argue more.

If your rep is new and does lack confidence because you haven’t done something a lot yet, just do your best to build trust in them and give them repetition so they can learn what needs to be done.

By the way, a little bit of this is okay. You think in certain ways. And that’s fine.

It’s just that when you get to a certain point of using these phrases so many times, then you can start to make more customers anxious.

So yes…do your best to avoid these customer service phrases.

You’ll have happier customers and happier reps.

And you can give a better report to your manager!