You love talking to your customers on the phone and making them feel great about their interaction with your brand. But sometimes, brands fail at customer interactions because they’re using the wrong phrases on the phone. There are some phrases you should never use with a client on the phone, though they may sound harmless at first.
Every interaction with a customer, whether it’s a phone call, social media conversation, or email, is a way to connect with your clients and make them feel important to your business.
You want them to continue to come back to spend their hard-earned money with you, but negative or seemingly negative phrases you or your team are using may be pushing your customers away. Consider if you are using “harmless” phrases such as “no problem” or “I don’t know” too often.
While these may seem like standard conversational phrases, they are actually presenting a negative undertone to your customer rather than using it as an opportunity to express a positive twist on their request.
5 Phrases You Should Never Use with a Client on the Phone
Take a look at these five problematic phrases you should never use with a client during your phone conversations.
When you say “no problem,” it’s a positive phrase to let your customer know you aren’t going to have any issues solving their problem, right? Wrong. In fact, “no problem” has a negative intonation. Your phrase is implying that the situation could have been a problem. That’s not the tone you want to set in customer service.
Your customer’s requests should never appear to be problematic and always desired to be heard. Instead of saying “no problem,” you are wise to start using something more positive. This phrase could be replaced with “my pleasure,” “glad to help,” or “you’re welcome.” This changes the feel of the conversation and makes your customer feel that you were happy to serve them.
“You need to”
Have you ever given advice to a customer by saying “you need to…?” This may seem like a harmless phrase to use, but your customer will perceive it as a rude command that connotes annoyance. Instead of demanding a customer take their own action, guide your customers in a friendly manner to let them know that your advice would be to handle it this or that way. Try a phrase like “the best way to handle that is…”
“I’m just the…”
Have you ever taken a call that was meant for someone else and let the customer know right away that you are “just the” receptionist or marketing manager or cashier? When someone calls a company, they expect anyone to answer the phone to be of service without trying to get out of the situation. Be willing to get the customer the help they need without downing your position or level of authority in the process.
This phrase lets your customer know that you aren’t very important or an asset who can assist them. Instead, take the lead and let your customer know that “I would be happy to get the message to him/her.” It’ll make you look great that you took the time to help.
“I don’t know”
Sometimes we simply don’t have the answer for a customer. Instead of saying “I don’t know,” perhaps you could let you customer know that you’d be happy to put them on a brief hold while you track down the information. Let your customer know that it was a great question and that you will find it out for them. You are supposed to be an expert to come to for advice and solutions, and saying “I don’t know” is really frustrating to a caller.
Sure, this phrase sounds just fine to you and appears innocent enough, but what it’s really doing is neglecting to explain to your caller what is going on.
You should give your customer the courtesy to explain that you will be placing them on a brief hold while you check the information out. Ask if that’s alright with the customer.
Do you use these innocent-sounding phrases on the phone with your customers without realizing that it’s hurting your brand’s image? Start using more positive phrases so that your customers know you are happy to help anytime they call in.