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8 Lousy Customer Service Phrases To Avoid

15 April 2020 | 0 comments | Posted by Gaurav Belani in Industry Experts

Why you should avoid these customer service phrases

Your company's customer service can either build or ruin your business. Are you aware that 49% of American consumers switched companies in 2019?

The reason was poor customer service.

If you look at the stats provided by Zendesk, offering excellent customer service emerged at the top when customers were asked what factors impact their level of trust with a company.

Customer service as a whole continues to improve each day. In a survey, 68% of customers reported that the service rep was responsible for the recent positive experience. But there is competition, and you will have to be the best to stand out.

In a customer service setting, excellent communication skills are crucial. You will have to be able to speak clearly, and politely. You also need to employ empathetic listening. Below are eight lousy customer phrases you might be unwittingly using. Avoid them at all costs.

1. I'm not sure

Never say, "I'm not sure" outright when you are uncertain about something a customer inquires about during their call. There are several better ways to respond. When you say "I'm not sure," you are showing your helplessness and incompetence, which will put your customers off.

Instead, push for more information to better understand them so that you can find a solution even if not immediately.

Responses like "Let us clarify this one more time" or "I would ask you to be a bit more specific" lets the customer know you're listening carefully and are ready to help.

2. Visit our help centre instead

You can direct customers to visit the Help Center at the end of the customer service request, provided the Help Center has the information they require, but never use your Help Center to get the customer off the call.

Doing so is like handing out a map to a person who asks for direction instead of showing the way. It is rude, unprofessional, and is sure to upset your customer. In a survey, a similar response emerged at the top when people were asked which common customer service phrases were most annoying to them.

3. I'll look into that

This phrase is not only bland, but it doesn't set expectations or define your plan of action. Using positive words can have a positive psychological impact.

You can say, "I'd be happy to help."

Set expectations by being upfront. If you are going to put your customer on hold while you dig for an answer, say it. Also, tell them how long it will take till you find a solution. And let them know that you have a plan.

Reveal what exactly you are looking into to help solve their query. An example would be, If you are checking their account information, let them know about it.

4. Calm down

Many times, customers get unreasonably upset, jump to negative conclusions, and shift their anger with something else towards you. But as a customer service rep, your job is to calm them down by finding a solution to their issue and not to tell them how they should be feeling.

It is much easier said than done, but it is essential to maintain control even in the worst scenarios. Saying, "I'm sorry to hear about your frustration. I'll get on it immediately" instead, will calm them down.

5. Hold on; I'll get back to you

When you put customers on hold, you should not make them feel like you don't want to talk to them anymore, or you are trying to get rid of them. Don't make them feel like their issue isn't significant enough for you.

Be nicer. Try saying, "I understand your concern, and while I try to find the solution, I'm going to ask you to hold on."

Or you can even say,

"I'll get on it right away. If you don't mind, may I put you on hold while I find a solution."

Let your customers know that you are not putting them on hold to attend to another customer or for dealing with other issues.

6. I'm sorry

Customer reps often use the phrase "I'm sorry" as a crutch phrase, but it carries no significance if used out of context. Never say it when you really mean to say, "I will have to look that up" or "Can I ask you a question?" or "Can you tell me more about the issue?"

7. You're mistaken

The phrase "You're mistaken" or any variations of it like "You're wrong," and "That's incorrect" should never be uttered. You must have heard about the phrase, "The customer is always right." Telling your customers that they are mistaken is breaking the first rule of good business.

CX czar Blake Morgan says that you are better off trusting customers and risking getting taken advantage of at times than to get a reputation of being disrespectful. Your customers can be mistaken, but don't utter it out loud.

8. We've never had this issue before

You might be hearing about a particular problem for the first time, but it isn't a reassuring phrase. Your customer, who is currently experiencing the issue, can feel more alarmed after hearing that it's a new problem that you have never had to solve before.

Instead, you can reassure your customer by saying, "It is a rare issue. We will look into it immediately. But I'm almost certain that it will never happen again."


Now you know the top eight phrases that you should never utter as a customer service rep while dealing with your customers. Keeping your customers satisfied should be the primary concern for your business.

You are responsible for doing everything in your power to solve the customer's issues while simultaneously making them feel valued and taken care of during their interaction.

Remember to speak to your customers with respect and patience to maintain a good reputation.

If you are trying to scale up your business, then you can take help from digital adoption platforms for intuitive onboarding and practical training and support.

For example, the Whatfix platform, which is among the best competitors to WalkMe, can be a great option.

It can eliminate the need to continually create and update end-user training and customer support resources by allowing you to create real-time interactive walkthroughs.

You can also leverage its smart interactive layer feature which will enable you to use self-help widget, conduct virtual induction programs on your web platforms, and many more.

About the author

Gaurav Belani is a senior SEO and content marketing analyst at The 20 Media, a content marketing agency that specializes in data-driven SEO. He has more than seven years of experience in digital marketing and loves to write about business, AI, ML, data science, and other emerging technologies. In his spare time, he enjoys watching movies and listening to music.

Connect with him on Twitter @belanigaurav.

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Recommended reading

If you enjoyed this post and have a little extra time to dive deeper down the rabbit hole, why not check out the following posts on customer service.

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