In the customer service world, words are just as important as actions. Words carry weight, and they shape the interactions you have with your customers – for better, or worse.
When it comes to customer service, it’s not just what you say but the way that you say it. Customers are highly sensitive to tone of voice and will judge you harshly for being an unhelpful or unfriendly service rep.
There’s a stark contrast between negative and positive language you can use when interacting with customers. It’s important to choose the right type of language and so you can positively shape the customer’s experience with your business and make them glad that they contacted you.
Language is the difference between a customer service team that is happy to assist the customer and one that seems like they’re just crunching through the queue and waiting for the time to go home. The most requested improvement that customers want to see from businesses is “better human service”, at 40%. Here are some helpful customer service phrases to humanize your customer support conversations.
18 magic words for customer service
1. Can I ask what your name is?
A person’s name is the sweetest sound in any language. It’s common politeness to ask a customer their name when opening a support interaction, and important to use their name throughout the conversation so they feel that their support is personalized. Using the customer’s name reassures them that you care about them and they are not just a number in the support queue.
2. How can I help you today?
One of the most common customer service phrases is to simply ask “How can I help you today?” Show willingness to come to their aid and reassure them that they made the right decision in seeking help. Don’t assume that the customer has a “problem”, but rather make the effort to find out what their issue is. You never know – they might be getting in touch to give some positive feedback about an experience they received!
3. Thank you for bringing this matter to our attention.
Are there any two more magical words at all than “thank you”? When a customer reaches out to you for support, thank them for giving you a problem to solve. The reality is, most customers won’t bother reporting an issue and the likely outcome is they just stop doing business with you. “Thank you” is a simple customer service phrase that shows you appreciate the time and effort they put into getting in touch.
4. I completely understand where you’re coming from.
This phrase assures the customer that you empathize with their position and they made the right decision in reaching out to support. The customer may have had hesitations about contacting you, worrying that you won’t understand their problem or dismiss their concerns. This phrase may also go a long way towards defusing a tense situation with a customer, who may be frustrated with your company for some reason.
5. I’m sorry for the inconvenience.
If a customer is contacting support, that means they’re having to take time out of their busy day to do so. It’s even worse if they’re getting in touch to report a problem with your product or service that shouldn’t have happened in the first place. Make it right by saying “I’m sorry” rather than offering excuses or glossing over the issue. Your customer will respect you more.
6. Let me just check I’ve got this right.
When an unhappy customer comes to you with an issue, it’s important that you restate their issue back to them to make sure you’ve fully understood what they’ve said. Paraphrase and summarize everything the customer has said and ask for clarification. The only way you can solve their problem for them is if you truly understand their meaning. This is especially important in email customer service where the customer complaint is written down.
7. I’ll pass this onto my team.
When customers contact your customer support team they want to feel like their voice has been heard. When a customer takes the time to share their idea for a new feature, for example, make sure you recognize their request and assure them you will pass it onto the relevant team. As a customer support rep you are the frontlines of the company and are responsible for sharing customer feedback with everyone else.
8. Let me look into this for you.
Sometimes there will be occasions where the right answer isn’t exactly at your fingertips. In fact, it’s going to take some research to find a resolution that will suit the customer, and it’s important to communicate this to them. This phrase shows the customer that you will go through any steps necessary to resolve their issue. If you’re on the phone with a customer, you can ask if they mind waiting on hold while you look for the correct answer.
9. I’ll get this solved for you right now.
If you can fix a customer’s problem for them right away, tell them! This phrase should fill your customers with confidence that their problem is being handled and they’ve reached a person with the capabilities to help them. Be sure not to over-promise anything you can’t deliver, though – make sure you really can solve the problem before using this phrase.
10. Do you mind if I put you in touch with our specialist?
There are times when customers need to be passed onto a specialist if the first agent who responded to their query can’t help, but customers don’t appreciate being bounced around like a ping pong ball. Phrase the handover in a positive way so customers know they are receiving “specialist” help for their problem, and thoroughly brief your colleague on the customer’s problem so the customer doesn’t have to repeat themselves.
11. We’re working on fixing this problem.
An upset customer is desperate for news on whether their issue is resolved. Do them a favor and update them on the status of their issue so they know you haven’t forgotten about them. If you don’t know when the problem is going to be fixed, avoid giving them an exact timeframe or the customer will only be disappointed.
12. Would you mind completing X action?
There will be some occasions in customer support when you need to ask customers to try out a few solutions on their side. The way you deliver these instructions has a big impact on how customers feel about being told to complete an action. It’s better to ask politely for their participation than coldly giving orders if you want customers to assist in the troubleshooting process.
13. I’d feel the same way in your position.
Sometimes we encounter frustrated customers who are having a bad time with your product or service, and we need to respond to them with empathy and kindness. It’s natural for customers to expect your product to work as advertised and to have a negative reaction when it doesn’t. This phrase shows your customers you understand their situation and aren’t judging them for being disappointed.
14. You have been very helpful.
Customers contacting support may have anxiety about raising their concerns and worry that they’re a waste of time. They could have tried harder to resolve their problem on their own instead of bothering support. This is your chance to reassure customers that raising their issues has been helpful for the company and that you appreciate their time.
15. Can I help you with anything else?
Unfortunately, you might not effectively resolve your customer’s problem the first time around. You might give them an answer that they don’t find helpful, but the customer is unwilling to speak up and let you know. If you ask if you can help with anything else, you open the door for the customer to share their ongoing issue with you, increasing the chance that you’ll actually be able to help.
16. Let me know if you have any other questions.
Providing great customer service means customers need to be made to feel that you will address any of their other concerns, even if they’re not related to the topic of the initial inquiry. Assure your customer that you will leave no stone unturned in your quest to ensure their satisfaction with your service. By asking for follow-up questions, you may ensure that their issue doesn’t recur and their problem is fully resolved.
17. Happy to help!
It’s crucial to let your customers know that you were happy to help them solve their issue. Customers may worry about feeling like a burden on your support team, when the reality is that without customers, you would have no business at all. Reassure them that it is your responsibility to ensure that they are satisfied with your service and that they are welcome to contact you at any time.
18. Have a great day!
Wishing customers a nice day is a good way to show customers that you care about them as more than a number. Not everything you say to them has to be strictly related to the issue at hand, and it’s these small courtesies that make the interaction more personal and memorable.
You may already be using many of these words and phrases in your dealings with customers. You might want to include them in your canned responses that you use to save time when sending email replies to customers.
If you choose the right customer service phrases you will find that your customer conversations flow more smoothly and customers respond to you more enthusiastically. Your language shows customers you care about them and you want them to be successful with your product or service, resulting in increased satisfaction and loyalty.
Using these magic words will elevate your customer service so that customers will start to rave about your business. It will turn what could have been a mundane support interaction into a magical moment that your customers will never forget.