5 Things You Should Never Say in Customer Service

By Niklas Stephenson | 29-Jun-2015 14:52:00

Do you want to avoid making catastrophic errors when talking to clients? Help is here! Below is a list of five things you should never say to a client and suggestions for what to say instead.

1. “I don’t know”
This phrase leaves your client wondering, “Well, who does know, and how can I get my problem solved?”

2. “I can’t”
Saying you can’t do something gives the impression that you don't care and aren’t invested in helping your client. The client's problem will remain unsolved, with no explanation. A study shows that 74% of clients want an explanation for why a customer service rep can’t fix a problem.

3. (silence)
If you don’t say anything, the client is left to believe that you have ended the call. Worse, the client may believe that you don’t want to talk or that they need to “carry” the conversation because you are not engaged in the discussion. If you need time to check on something, tell the client, “Can you give me a minute, just checking up on...”

4. “You just need to…”
With this phrase, you place the responsibility upon the client. The client contacted you to get help, not to be patronised.

5. “No”
A negative answer creates a negative conversation. You should never hide information—but remember that what you say and the wording you use are important. Try to use phrases such as “I understand what you’re thinking, let me try to explain...” or “Unfortunately, I can’t make that happen, but let me see if we can find another solution”.

Use phrases like these instead:

1. Those are great questions. Let me check on that.
2. I wish it was possible, but…
3. Can you hold on a minute?
4. I will take care of that right away.

Be honest, but think about the wording you use to give bad news. As illustrated in the list of suggested phrases above, negative words don't belong in a great customer service conversation.
You will also enhance your customers’ satisfaction with your customer service when you avoid silence, substantiate your answers and demonstrate that you are there to help.

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