BPA Featured Article

The Worst Things You Can Possibly Say to a Customer

By Stefania Viscusi, Assignment Desk, Content Management
November 14, 2016

Customer service is hard. It’s hard for the customer making the call and it’s hard for the agent on the other end dealing with the issue. But it doesn’t have to be as painful as some make it out to be. Understanding what to say, and what not to say, can go a long way in making customer service calls much more pleasurable.

A recent article on the most annoying customer service phrases looked at some common phrases customer service reps are asked to use to help diffuse situations, but are actually getting under customers’ skin and making the situation worse.

Understanding what these phrases are, and ensuring your staff isn’t using them while on the phone, is critical.

If a customer is already calling customer service about a bad experience with a product or service, chances are they already have a combative demeanor. Telling customers that the company website has more information is not an answer they likely want to hear.  Chances are they already checked there themselves and would much rather get the agent’s help to fix it. That’s almost as bad as telling a customer “I’m not able to help you with that.”

Nothing’s worse than sitting on hold or going through a long menu tree of options to be told you’re not at the right place to get your issue resolved. Refrain from telling agents to use this phrase. Instead, offer to help the customers with something else or get them to another agent without wasting time.

Finally, and this is a personal worst for me, never try to correct a customer by saying “Let me correct you.” Most people don’t like to be told they are wrong. But if you’re calling about an issue you’re already irate over, chances are hearing this from an agent on the other side of the phone won’t be very welcoming.

What can you do? You can train agents to react differently, offer better scripts and you can record and monitor calls to extract and gain actionable data so your call center is always operating at peak performance and these blunders don’t sneak in.

Edited by Alicia Young