Delivering great customer service is an art. It takes hundreds (or thousands) of hours of practice to master and requires some instinctive people skills that very few people have. What makes customer service so unique is the nature of customer service interactions: frustrated and sometimes angry customers plus agents who genuinely (at good companies) want to help. The result is that each word and phrase is loaded with significantly more meaning than a "normal" interaction where both participants have normal blood pressure readings.
We've decided to put together a "12 best customer service phrases" cheat sheet, so you and your team can continue providing great service without always having to worry about whether a word or phrase provided unintentional offense.
Nice to meet you! How can I help you today?
This is a pattern interrupt that I like a lot. It has to be genuine, but a frustrated customer will still register that you are genuinely happy to be speaking to them. That unexpected start to the conversation is a good way to get a rocky conversation into safe waters and can turn a good conversation into a great one. The combination of pleasure at not only helping, but meeting someone, along with asking about the issue the customer is experiencing is disarming, and a good tool to use on the phone.
I'm looking forward to fixing the issue you're experiencing.
This is another phrase that's all about creating anticipation. You're not "trying" to help them, you're not looking forward to talking to them; you're excited to fix their problem, which is why they're there to begin with. This can be good on any medium of support where there is clear back and forth(so, not social).
I'll fix that for you right now.
I had a coach that always used to say "don't be a try baby, be a do baby." To a customer a phrase like "I can" or "I'll try" indicates indifference and creates an expectation of failure. "I will" on the other hand is an immediate declaration that creates an expectation of success. Chat, phone, or email, this is a beautiful phrase for a customer to see.
I'm happy to help.
Indicating to a customer that you are genuinely pleased to be assisting them will give them a better feeling both about the agent that they're working with and the company as a whole. Many of the people we are most struck by in day to day life are those who seem to be totally switched on and who genuinely engage. Bring that into your customer service interactions as naturally as you can. This is a good channel for email, phone, or chat.
I'm happy to help with any other challenges you're experiencing.
Sometimes a customer has called because their most recent issue is the last straw. By assuring a customer that you're available beyond what you've just been asked to do will show them that you truly care about their experience and, in the case of customers with unmentioned difficulties, might prompt them to tell you what those are so you can take appropriate action. This upgrade on "is there anything else I can do for you today" is perfect for an immediate channel like phone or chat.
I would be frustrated too.
This is one of the best customer service phrases out there. By commiserating with your client, you ensure them that they are in the right, and that you as an individual agree with them. By adding "human moments" to the customer service interaction, you're de-escalating a situation and creating camaraderie with your client base. This is good for immediate channels such as phone or chat.
Great question, I'm not sure but I'll find out right away.
Great question is a good customer service phrase because it validates the customers experience (positive or negative). By immediately finding the answer, you're showing that you're a pro-active service team that serves customers promptly. Two great results in one short sentence. This is ideal for email or social customer service where there's an expected lag between responses and the customer isn't left waiting.
Let me double check that for you.
By double checking something, you are, in the customers mind, ensuring with 100% certainty that something is as you say it is. If you're right, this will create customer loyalty because you're showing yourself to be a reliable, honest organization, that cares about details. This is an ideal phrase for chat or phone, where the double checking can be done and confirmed quickly. Having to double check something via a ticket isn't good because you've had time to do so before responding.
Thank you for letting us know.
Tell the customer that they've done you a favor. That you'll be able to improve because of them notifying you about the experience that they've had. Someone doing a favor for you is a good way to get them to like you, and by the customer feeling like they've helped out your company (rather than just being annoyed by your company) it will increase the quality of their customer service experience. This is great on chat, social, phone, or tickets. Appreciating the customer should happen everywhere.
I appreciate your business.
Hint: This will make your agents happier too.
Being appreciative and feeling appreciated are very powerful experiences. Letting the customer know that their business matters and that you, individually, are happy for it is a powerful psychological experience. Phone or ticket are the best channels for this. Chat it can be done, but the company has to have the correct branding to comfortably allow for it ("We appreciate your business :)" is fine. "We appreciate your business." reads oddly).
I want to make sure I understand so I can fix the problem correctly, (repeat what customer said back).
Repeating back what they just said will actually make the customer like the agent more. People want to be heard, and by repeating their words and issue back to them, you're ensuring that they have been. This phrase is ideal for phones (don't use it on any channel where you can just read the issue).
I'll have an update to you in (timeframe).
Establish an expectation for an update, let the customer go on their way, and then follow through. The follow through, hopefully with a resolution, is impressive because so few companies do it well. Be sure to do it when you say you will though. Late and you seem unreliable, but too early can be inconsiderate too. Email is the ideal for this because there are already delays. If need be it can be utilized on phone, follow through becomes even more important in that situation (and it's already critical).
There they are! The twelve best customer service phrases, meant to make you and your teams lives just a little bit easier.
What customer service phrases do you use? Tell us in the comments below or @helpdotcom.