Your Team Should Never Utter These 8 Things to a Customer

Lauren Krause
Posted by

It’s important that your customer service representatives know how to handle a variety of situations and are trained to speak properly to your customers. Most people know the types of things they shouldn't say to people in social situations and the topics it is better to avoid. However, not many companies teach customer service representatives the business phrases to avoid, even though some are extremely detrimental to business.

I Can’t Help

When customer service representatives respond to customers' questions by simply saying that they can’t help, it always sounds as if they are simply unwilling to help. Customers don’t know what situations your agents can and can’t handle, so it’s important for agents to explain why they can’t help customers if that is the case and to ensure that they connect the customers with people who can help them.

Could You Repeat the Information?

Asking customers to repeat information annoys them, especially if they have to repeat the same information multiple times. Teach your customer service representatives to use a noting program to jot down pertinent information the first time it’s given to them to avoid this situation.

Promises They Can’t Keep

When customers offer suggestions, your customer service representatives shouldn't tell them that your company is already working on that issue in case the development does not pan out. Instead, have representatives submit customers' suggestions to the appropriate department and let your customers know how important those suggestions are to your company.

Offering a Call Back That Cannot Be Honored

Customer service departments often have a predetermined time frame for call backs; not every call can be returned within five minutes. Make sure your customer service representatives make customers aware of the proper time frame so that they aren't annoyed further if the call is not returned right away.

Saying Sorry Insincerely

While it’s important to apologize to customers if something is wrong, any apology needs to sound authentic. Teach your employees to avoid meaningless apologies by focusing instead on fast, effective solutions.

Not Saying Anything

Sometimes issues take a few minutes to resolve, but agents shouldn’t sit in silence while processing a transaction. When customers hear silence, they aren’t sure whether they should speak, or even if anyone is on the line. Make sure that your representatives put customers on hold properly when processing transactions to avoid this problem.

Thanking the Customer for Feedback

When customer service representatives thank customers for their feedback, it often sounds robotic and uncaring. It’s important to build a relationship with your customers; encourage your customer service representatives to thank customers at the end of the call in their own words rather than strictly to script.

Telling Customers They Did Something Wrong

Customers don’t always have to be right, but they shouldn’t be told outright that they are doing something wrong. Instead of explaining to customers that they are doing things wrong, train customer service representatives to help customers walk them through the process to determine what the problem is. This allows them to politely correct problems on the way.

Running a customer service department isn’t easy. However, by training your customer service representatives to avoid approaching issues in specific ways, you’ll have fewer disgruntled customers.


Photo courtesy of photostock at



Become a member to take advantage of more features, like commenting and voting.

  • geoffrey p.
    geoffrey p.


  • Sherrie V.
    Sherrie V.

    Great advice, I'll be sure to take note of it. Thank you!

Jobs to Watch