What Customers Don’t Want to Hear

Language is important. Just ask George W. Bush, Joe Biden or any other political gaffe machine you can think of. Choosing the wrong words when dealing with the general public can make your job that much harder, and can cost your company future business if it occurs in the customer service deparment. Customer Contact News offers some useful tips on what NOT to say:

Sure, these lines sound innocent enough to your ears, but to customers, they sound like lame excuses for not helping them.

Try to avoid these phrases in your contact center.  Some customers practically cringe when they hear them.

  • “That’s our policy.” It’s a corporate way of saying no and it sounds like agents don’t want to – not can’t – do what customers have requested. Try: “Here’s why we’ll have to find another solution …”
  • “I’m new here.” Agents who use this line suggest to customers that they weren’t properly trained. Try: “Let me double-check with someone before I answer that. I want to give you the most accurate answer possible.”
  • “My supervisor’s not available.” That’s not customers’ problem. Get to someone who can help. Try: “I’m sure Sally can help us with this. Can you wait while I get her on the line also?”
  • “I don’t know.” Customers called you and expect you to be the expert. Try: “Let me look into that.”

The Importance of Good Customer Service (Part XXIV)

We’ve offered quite a few posts on customer service tips, errors, blunders, horrors, etc. Why? Because your customer service reps are your first and often only point of contact with your customers. A bad experience could lead to not only a customer taking his/her business elsewhere, but can also earn your business a serious thrashing on Twitter or Facebook, thus souring others on your services. CustomerContactNews offers this advice:

You might unknowingly tick off customers if anyone in your contact center commits any of these stupid service mistakes:

  • Lazy courtesy. In the rush to get information, agents might forget to use common courtesies such as “please,” “thank you” and “you’re welcome.” Use them early and often in all conversations.
  • Poor record keeping. Misspelled names, incorrect pronunciations and repeated mistakes on paperwork bother customers. Regularly check that your records are correct.
  • Promises fell short. Promise a little less than you know you can deliver and you’ll keep customers happy.
  • Policy protection. You’ll lose customers if you hide behind policies so you don’t have to do something for them. Instead, find ways around roadblocks and help eliminate policies that inhibit agents and customers.
  • Inaccessibility. If customers can’t get through to you easily, they won’t stick around to try harder. Give them options (e-mail, online chat and a quickly answered toll-free number).
  • Untrained staff. If agents consistently have to turn to others for help, customers will get frustrated. Agents don’t have to know all of the answers, just where to find them. So train more on accessibility and encourage them often to do what’s right for customers