Don’t Use these 4 Phrases in Your Customer Support

When a customer raises a ticket, he already feels frustrated. In fact, customers prefer to solve issues on their own. Contacting support is the last resort when they can not find a solution in the knowledge base or on a forum.

In this article, we will describe the four most irritating scenarios in customer service and discuss how to act in a more friendly and customer-centered way.

1. "Please describe your problem"

If you're redirecting the customer to a different support rep, make sure the customer won't have to reiterate their problem again.

89% of customers reported frustration over needing to repeat their issues to multiple representatives.
Accenture study

Do it seamlessly. Leverage private comments and describe the problem for the client, as well as offer possible solutions if you have any ideas.

2. "Sorry for late response"

Most companies promise to answer customer requests within 24 hours. It is already long enough for a customer who has encountered a problem. But missing that deadline can frustrate the customer even more. Eventually, they might decide to never do business with you again.

The main principle of a customer-oriented service is to keep your promises. Sure there are tough Mondays and service downtimes when your support department is overloaded with tickets. In these situation sending a notice that the request is received and is being worked on may be an option. That is much better than staying silent for more than the declared response time.

3. "According to our policy"

Policies and procedures are for companies, not for customers. When a customer is told "According to our policy" they actually hear "That’s your problem". And that is infuriating!

A great alternative phrase is "Let’s me see what I can do about this". This phrase shows concern and desire to help. Even if the problem can not be solved, explain it in casual, human language. Don't sound like a corporate robot. When customers feel real desire to help they are more open to accepting the situation.

We teach everyone what our policies are, and then show them how to break those rules if it's necessary to provide the best experience.

Megan Petrini Training Supervisor @Zappos

4. "Read the documentation"

As mentioned above, most customers prefer to do research on their own first and contact support if they can’t find the necessary info. Receiving such answer from a support rep is a "Thanks, Cap" situation.

If the answer to the question can really be found in the documentation, check it to make sure the information there is relevant and up to date. Chances are, a customer has tried to find an answer and the answer wasn’t there. If for all that you reply with a link to documentation add a short notice like "If you have any difficulties, let me know". This short comment will make your reply sound more human.

Summary

All companies that do business experience downtimes, order delivery delays and other problems. Most customers express understanding when they meet real desire to help. People don’t judge your company because you make mistakes. What really matters is how you resolve those mistakes.

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