Are You Using These Phrases to Improve Customer Interaction?

John Krautzel
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Language plays a significant role in customer service. The wrong choice of words can alienate customers or invalidate the entire interaction. By choosing customer service phrases that create a welcoming, personalized experience, your agents can improve service calls and build better relationships.

"Our records show..."

Discussing money with customers can be uncomfortable, particularly in cases of unpaid bills or overdue balances. Saying "you owe..." or "you did not..." to a customer can come off as aggressive or accusatory; it immediately puts the other person on the defensive. Once the customer perceives that you have leveled an accusation, it can be difficult to work together to come to a solution. One of the most useful customer service phrases is "Our records show." This open statement takes the agent out of the equation, placing the burden on the records system. It gives the customer the opportunity to take in the information and dispute it, if necessary.

"We find that..."

Customers usually call for service when something is wrong. In a situation with already-heightened emotions, ordering or demanding the caller to do something can exacerbate the problem. Customer service phrases that remove the command can make it easier for the customer to listen without reacting. Instead of using "you should..." or "you must...", improve customer interactions by saying, "We find that..."

"I'm happy to help!"

The job of a service agent is to make customers feel comfortable asking all of their questions during the first call; in doing so, they can resolve the problem completely and reduce the number of follow-up calls. One customer service phrase that facilitates a welcoming atmosphere is "I'm happy to help." This simple phrase assures the customer that the agent is willing to answer any question or explain any feature, no matter how small or insignificant. It helps the caller get over the fear of asking an obvious question, which in turn helps the agent get to the heart of the problem and improve overall customer service.

"I don't know, but..."

Customer service agents are not omniscient, and they cannot be expected to know every answer to every question. When a situation arises where the agent cannot provide help, one of the most useful customer service phrases is, "I don't know, but..." The agent should complete the phrase with a definitive next action, such as "I will find out for you" or "I'll transfer you to someone who can help." These phrases humanize the agent and provide the customer with a next step. The action statement also reassures the caller that his problem will not be lost in the fray.

The right customer service phrases can transform your service department. By training agents to adjust their language, you can improve customer interactions and increase brand loyalty.

Image courtesy of Stuart Miles at



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