What Not to Say When on a Customer Service Call

February 6th, 2022 A Personal Answering Service

When speaking with a customer, your words make a world of difference. After all, customers can’t see your face or body language. As such, it’s easy for customers to misinterpret what you’re saying. The best way to avoid any misinterpretations is to watch what you say. Here, we discuss some things you should never say when you’re on a customer service call.

Overusing the Word “Sorry”

If someone is calling with a complaint, your first thought might be to apologize. However saying “I’m sorry” can come across differently than how you meant it. Saying this phrase (especially if it’s said often) can come off as a cop-out. Customers might appreciate the empathy, but they would rather have the issue taken care of. Instead of blurting out an apology you might ask questions like “What can I do to make it better?” or “What can I do to help you?” If you can’t help the person, it might be best to direct them to someone who can.  

Sounding Too Authoritative

It’s one thing to give someone instructions over the phone and it’s another to sound bossy. If you need them to send in documents or fill out a form, consider saying something like: “In order to do ___, we need ____ to be filled out.” This sounds less authoritative than saying “You need to____.”

The same applies for a customer that is already upset. Saying “calm down” or “that is against our policy” sounds inflexible and might give the customer the impression that you will not help them with their issue.  

Sloppy Language

It’s important to sound professional over the phone. It sounds more formal to say “Can I put you on hold for a moment?” Than to say “just a sec” and then put them on hold. A certain level of professionalism will be expected out of a representative on the phone, so it’s important to reflect that in your speech.  

Foul Language

This one ought to be a no-brainer. It isn’t acceptable to use foul language with someone in person, so it is not ok to do so over the phone, even if the phone call is frustrating. This goes not only for swearing, but also saying something that could offend someone.  

The Use of Small Talk

We have all had this happen before: something is processing and you have to wait on it, while you sit on the phone with a client in awkward silence. Instead of listening to the crickets chirp, many rely on small talk to break the silence. When doing so, stick to a safe topic. The most popular tends to be about the weather, which is a universal experience. If you hear a dog in the background then that might be something the customer wouldn’t mind talking about. This also makes the conversation feel more personal and less stale.  

At A Personal Answering Service, we offer customer support services to ensure you provide your customers with the best possible experience. Contact us today to learn more.

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