CX Blog

Phrases that customers HATE to hear!

Being a customer service representative is not an easy task. It requires a lot of effort and hard work, along with traits such as optimism and empathy. Despite their best efforts, customer service executives might not be able to please all customers and resolve their grievances. Company policies and regulations, lack of authority, and various other such reasons can come in the way of a customer service representative resolving a customer complaint.

While it is understandable that not all customer grievances can be resolved, here are a few phrases and words that can infuriate a customer and that representatives must avoid as much as possible.

Can you hold the line for a little longer?

Many times, when customer grievances are complex and require the assistance of more than one department, the customer has already been on hold for a long time. Further, he might have already experienced a long wait time already. In such a scenario, asking the customer to hold the line a little longer could be irksome.

What to do: Instead, you can offer a callback to the customer. This will not only relieve him from the annoyance of waiting but will also make him happier.

But, that is the policy.

It is understandable that company policies and regulations might not allow you to help the customer. But by bluntly putting the blame on the policy, you might be aggravating the customer’s annoyance.

What to do: Rather, you might want to explain why the policy has been designed in that manner. The policies created are for the benefit of a customer. Once the customer understands this, he might appreciate the trouble taken to explain the nuances of the policy.

Sorry, you have reached the wrong department.

Customers might definitely ring in the wrong number and reach the incorrect department. This could be due to a variety of reasons ranging from incorrect helpline numbers to tons of numbers listed on the website.

What to do: Instead of sending them back to the automated menu by blurting the above lines, or worse still, hanging up, you might want to connect the call to the right department.

You can find the information on our website.

This comes across, plain and simple, as someone who does not want to help.

What to do: As a customer service representative, you might want to give out the information yourself to resolve the customer query in the first call itself.

It’s not our fault.

A customer being frustrated and irate is most likely the fault of the organization. Even if you are not responsible for this state of affairs, it is your responsibility to make things right for the customer.

What to do: Hence, shrugging off the responsibility by saying that it is not your fault will exacerbate the issue. Rather, you might want to apologize to mitigate the situation.

You don’t seem to understand.

There might be something that the customer is failing to understand but the above phrase can be very annoying to the customer.

What to do: Firstly, avoid using technical jargon to explain it to the customer; using layman’s terms could always help to drive home the point. You might want to rephrase this as – can I clarify that for you? Can I explain why this is so?

What are other words that annoy customers the most? Let us know!

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