Nowadays, there are many companies providing the same products or services. It’s not just product quality and price that make companies stand out, there’s another important criterion. After all, it’s always about customers’ feelings when they shop and communicate with your customer center. Do you really know how to communicate with clients?
Regardless of your area of business, excellent customer service sets you apart from competitors. Each company with long-standing experience in customer service knows that customer centers don’t just solve problems. It’s especially about making sure that clients are happy and satisfied.
The way you interact with clients has significant impact on your brand’s future. How to communicate with customers? Pleasant and polite communication is key to making your existing clients happy and attracting new customers :)
But what does pleasant communication and high-quality customer service actually mean? Here’s 10 basic principles of customer service etiquette and 7 phrases to avoid and their more appropriate equivalents.
10 golden rules of customer service etiquette
When talking to customers who contact your customer support with various requests and issues, you should follow these basic rules. There’s nothing worse than being rude. Why? Because 89% of customers stop using a service if the customer service is bad.
- Start and end every call on a positive note.
- Address your clients by their name.
- Keep your clients updated.
- Always think carefully before you say something
- Treat customers with respect and empathy.
- Stay professional no matter what.
- Don’t interrupt the customer unless it’s necessary.
- Listen to the client and give them your full attention.
- Learn how to handle angry clients.
- Always say "Thank you" and "Please" in a friendly tone.
7 phrases to avoid and what to say instead
1. I don’t know.
The worst answer you can give your client is "I don’t know." Instead, try to say: "I can’t give you the answer right now, but I will see what I can do and get back to you in a second." The client will know that you care about the issue and look for solutions.
2. I’m afraid not.
There’s always a better alternative to saying a plain "no". If you say "no" to your customer, you will lose him. Try to offer an alternative and say: "I’m sorry, but we cannot do that. What if we tried to do something else, for example…?" The customer will see that you are doing your best to accommodate his request, which will improve his experience with your business.
3. Calm down, please.
Sometimes, customers may be stressed or upset. It’s particularly crucial that you stay calm and pleasant no matter what. Avoid the phrase "Calm down", this might make him even more angry. Try saying something like: "I understand why you’re upset. Let me see what I can do."
4. It’s not our fault.
You can easily replace this phrase with: "We will do our best to fix the issue." The customer will feel that he’s not alone and that you care about his problem.
5. This is standard policy.
Even if you cannot accommodate all clients’ requests, definitely avoid this phrase. Customers don’t care about your internal policies and guidelines, they want to see results and have their problems solved. Try to explain the situation: "I’m sorry, but here’s why this procedure is in place… What we can do is…" The customer might be even more satisfied with the solution you proposed :)
6. No problem.
Save this answer for your friends. Sure, interaction with customers should be friendly and pleasant, but also professional. Replace "No problem" with: "You are welcome. / My pleasure. / I’m glad I could help.”
7. Anything else?
Replace this snippy phrase with "Is there anything else I can help you with today?" The two questions might have identical meaning, but they are totally different in terms of politeness. And the customer knows it.