Consider providing good customer service as an art that’s constantly in flux, even in the midst of a conversation. Detailed over at the Help Scout blog, these nine phrases can start improved customer interactions for your entire team.
“Happy to help!”
Find a way to close the conversation. You may find this a tricky proposition in customer support talks, since you don’t want to cut off customers before they share a problem they’re dealing with. By signing off with “happy to help,” you’re inviting any further problems the customer may want to share, if there are any. If not, you have a completely suitable send-off for a satisfied customer.
“I understand how [blank] that must be.”
Use this phrase with caution. Context within a customer support conversation is critically important and this phrase provides a great example of why. In Help Scout’s post, Gregory explained his feelings after a botched online order and a customer service rep who understood how “annoying” it must have been:
I’m sorry, I was beyond annoyed. I was upset, and she should have known to empathize with how upsetting that must be for me. I know, I know — boo hoo. But upset customers are driven by emotion, not logic, as I was in that instance. I felt like I had let my friend down, and it made me frustrated in a situation I otherwise would have brushed off. tweet
Nuances like these can mean the difference between poor customer satisfaction ratings and some of the best customer support teams in the world.
“As much as I’d love to help…”
Your reps should not only know when to say know but more importantly how to say it. Sometimes your support team just can’t comply the with customer’s request, and that’s all right. What’s not alright is giving the customer a blunt “no” with no explanation. This phrase expresses sentiment while also setting the conversation for why you can’t fulfill that request.
“Great question! I’ll find that out for you.”
Sometimes you just won’t know the answer to a customer’s question. Rather than guessing the correct answer, take the extra time to pause and be 100% sure. Help Scout explains that “the only customers who will mind the small delay to get the right answer are those who weren’t going to walk away happy in the first place.” In situations like this, Lessonly provides the perfect knowledge base that your support team can consult. They can easily search Lessons within the Learning Library based on content or titles, so those difficult questions never go without an answer.
“Nice to meet you.”
In the land of cold calls and robotic email responses, a personal greeting can really stand out. Encourage your team to use some sort of polite, informal, or generally human phrase to start their emails and chats, and you’re off to a good start.
“May I ask why that is?”
Use this as your team’s tool for addressing criticism. Even the most upset customers often have some reason behind their frustration. This phrase can help decipher that reason. Used in the right context, this neutral and inviting question will often foster more discussion so you and your team can solve the problem. Help Scout points out that no matter how good your product is, someone in the world will find a problem with it and tell you about it. Make sure you’re professional and level-headed in these situations.
“Thanks for bringing that to our attention!”
For those customers who go out of their way to point out a bug in your software or a defect in your product, roll out the red carpet. Go out of your way to acknowledge and thank these super customers with specific language. “Silence is the killer.” By not responding, you’re giving the appearance that you don’t want or won’t listen to their feedback. A simple, polite acknowledgment can build a genuine dialogue between you and your customers.
“I completely understand why you’d want that.”
No one knows your product better than the people who use it on a daily basis. And even though these customers can always come up with something that they wish your product did, Help Scout gives you a polite way to say “no.” By using the phrase, “I completely understand,” you’re acknowledging them, but opening the door for a discussion:
Empathy always makes hearing the “no” sting a little less. And it shows customers that you understand what they’re trying to achieve — who knows, down the line, you may build something that solves their problem in a way they hadn’t thought of. tweet
Just a flat “no” without an explanation can easily upset your customers. When the topic includes something they may want, being empathetic to the situation helps let them down gently.
“I’d love to understand more about…”
With customers, sometimes you need to help them understand their own problem. This adds to the already difficult balancing act of answering in a timely manner. Showing your desire to understand more about their problem can buy you a bit of time and discussion in figuring out the problem, “That’s why asking to ‘understand more’ about a customer’s situation is a nice kickoff. You’re letting them know they have your ear, and that they’re free to share more of their frustrations/aspirations with your product.”
Interested in how Lessonly can help educate your customer support team on the art of customer communication? Take a tour. Sign up today.