Negative word of mouth can be dangerous for any business. According to the Office of Consumer Affairs, news of bad customer service reaches twice as many people than praise for a good customer service. That means customers are more likely to say bad things about your company (compared to the good) to their friends and family, a.k.a your potential customers.
As such, whether you are employing call center outsourcing or an in-house help desk, here are 5 statements that your customer service reps should never say to your clients:
“I can’t help you with that.”
If a customer has a sales concern and the agent works in tech support, then it may be true — he/she really can’t help with that. The problem here, however, is that this statement sounds negative. Telling customers you can’t help \them with their concern can make them feel like a burden or an inconvenience.
Instead of saying you don’t deal with certain issues, simply say: “It sounds like [department X] can assist you on this. Let me transfer you or find you their contact number.”
While it may sound very understandable if a customer service rep really is new to the job, that doesn’t mean he/she should say it.
Admitting that you are new (read: confused and don’t know the ins and outs of the business yet) will kill a customer’s confidence in you or worse, the company as a whole. There is also no need for a customer to know that you’re a recent hire and still a bit flummoxed.
Alternatively, a rep should say something like: “I will need to consult about this issue with a colleague. Please hold and stay on the line.”
“I don’t know.”
Just like saying you’re a newbie, saying this will instantly make the customer lose his/her confidence in you. Customer service reps should know that no one expects them to know everything, but they are expected to show that they’re on top of things.
Here’s a better way to respond to things you don’t know or are not sure of: “Let me find that out for you.”
“You don’t understand.”
Put yourself in the customer’s shoes: you are frustrated with an issue with the service, took all that time and effort just to get through to a customer service rep, only to be told that you don’t understand. No matter how true this statement may be, customer service reps should be emphatic. Empathy goes a long way, especially when the customer is already irate.
Here’s a good response to replace “you don’t understand”: “I understand that there we’re facing a difficulty here. Let’s go through it together.”
Customers should never have to say “are you still there?” while on the phone with a customer service rep. Dead air time can make them feel anxious, lessening their opinion of the company.
If you’re waiting for information to be generated, you can either use the time to chat with the customer informally or say something like: “I will need around 30 seconds to a minute to pull up the information we need. Please stay on the line while I hold.”
Customer service expert Ruby Newell-Legner says that it takes 12 positive experiences to make up for one unresolved negative experience. The takeaway: don’t wait to get 12 chances to make up for one issue. Keep customers happy with your service by addressing their issues while avoiding saying these 5 statements.
We’ve uploaded a downloadable version of this list on Slideshare.
Nowadays, the traditional landline phone customer service that businesses have may not serve your customers well—considering that we’re living in the technology era. Having customer support in other types of network such as through online and mobile are some of the customer assistance services we have, which can take your entire customer service to a whole new level. Learn more!