Customer service is all about the experience contact centers create for their customers and prospects. The conversations happening between agents and customers via various communication channels leave a tremendous emotional impact on customers. Unfortunately, there is no cheat sheet available with set rules that can make the magic happen over conversations. But of course, there are some dos and don’ts that can convert even the negative discussions to a positive one. The thumb rule for making any conversation a significant interaction is by using positive words. Let’s dig deeper into the various communication stages and phrases that work great.

Greeting customer

Greeting statements need to be effective. These statements kick off an engaging conversation between company/agent and customer. It can be of various types depending on the scenario, environment, and time of the day. Also, you need to keep experimenting with greetings to keep your customers engaged. A monotonous opening can be dull. Here are a few parameters to consider when you create your next greetings

  • Try to recognize if the customer is new or an existing customer.
  • Instead of directly pitching for help, start the conversation by asking about their wellbeing.
  • When introducing yourself, tell your name and company’s name to gain the trust of customers
  • Be open to experiment new ways of communication by merely asking about how’s their day
  • For existing/repeat customers, make them feel valued by asking or how they been?
  • You are always free to create your statements until you sound polite and positive
  • Be ready to accept positive and negative replies, irrespective of how good your greetings are.

Sample
“Welcome to [COMPANY NAME] Customer Service. My name is [NAME]. How can I help you?”
“Welcome back! How have you been?”

Looking for more information

A single line from a customer with incomplete information regarding a query gets challenging to reply to. So, you need to drill a bit deeper with the help of positive words and understand customer’s pain points. Make sure you don’t sound annoyed and maintain your patience during this question and answer process. Else the customer might get angry. Some things to consider are

  • Make your caller feel valued and heard
  • Don’t hesitate to repeat yourself to avoid making any mistakes
  • Thank them for the information shared and further request the customer to provide other details that will help in the search.
  • Even if you did not understand a query, don’t give a bland reply to sound inefficient or strange
  • Make use of positive affirmative words to grow customer’s trust in yourself, such as definitely, assure, completely understand, and more.
  • Avoid using the negative word even for expressing good intentions or to empathize. It can backfire.

Sample
“Definitely sir/mam, I can help you. It will be great if you can tell me a bit more about…”
“I can certainly help you…”

Acknowledging customer

Now, that you are clear on the query but you lack proper information to address it or unable to offer what customer is looking forward to, it is necessary to acknowledge the customer first. Remember, no one wants to hear a straight ‘no’ for anything. Understand the criticality of the situation and mold the words accordingly. Consider these points

  • Say no to customers in a positive way with phrases of hope
  • Offer other recommendations or substitutes for what you can’t offer
  • Have access to the knowledge base and inter-team communication for insightful replies instead of fumbling or making the caller stay on hold for long
  • Sound professional and thank the caller for having trust and patience to lighten up the environment.
  • In case of doubt or a longer process, assure them for an update by specific day or time
  • Be ready to apologize or accept the company’s mistake if any

Sample
“I understand the issue. I will surely send you an update by…”
“I completely agree with you, but instead, we can offer you …”

Giving instructions

There are times when you need to instruct the customer to perform a task over a call and complete the process. Of course, this is to help the customers but it is necessary to sound polite and not dominating. It should appear as you are handholding the customer, else dominance or straight instructions can make you appear bossy to the caller. Remember these points

  • Make the process sound simple and quick
  • Use easy to understand the language
  • Assure them you will be on call to help them
  • Mention the number of steps as a small number count to sound the task easy to accomplish
  • In case the customer misses a step, make them feel relaxed and run the process again

Sample
“All you need to do is to…”
“It is simply a two-step process that requires you to …”

Negative interactions

It is impossible for you to offer the best experience to all your customers across channels. It is but evident that dissatisfied customers can share negative feedback or frustrating messages for you. Instead of reacting instantly and rudely to them, understand your customer’s situation and assure an update if not a resolution

  • Thank them for letting you know the issue or loopholes in the system
  • Apologize for the issue customer is face and ensure that you will try your best to resolve
  • Avoid making assured commitments for a solution because if you fail to do it, your and company’s image will be ruined forever
  • Make the customer feel right else he will sense negativity and avoid sharing concerns in the future.
  • Don’t take negative feedback personally and make it as a scope of improvement
  • On implementing the input/feedback, inform the customer of the same to gain his trust
  • Before ending, reconfirm with the customer, if you can help him with anything else

Sample
“I am sorry about that. I can understand how frustrated you would be. I will certainly consider your feedback and update you by…”
“You are our valued customer and we are happy to have your feedback. I will surely pass it to our managerial team …”

Closing a call

After resolving the query, you cannot only say goodbye. The ending note leaves a lasting image of your business on the customer. You need to inform people of the next steps and assure a pleasant journey for the future. A contact center solution, agent scripting, can help here. This will increase the chances of repeat customers.

  • Ask if there is anything else that you can help with
  • Wish the caller a beautiful day
  • Make use of this time to up-sell or cross-sell

Sample
“Thanks for calling [company name], in case of any other question, please feel free to call us again.”
“Thanks for calling [company name], if also have [xyz offer] for you. Would you like to consider it?”

There are times when you have to deal with various kinds of angry customers from abusive to threat-maker. In such a scenario, it is essential to rule-out phrases or words like nope, it’s not our fault, sorry it’s a part of the process, etc.

Remember the positive phrases can eliminate the harmful elements from the conversation. In addition to tonality, agents’ script, training, and update contact center software can make customer and agent interaction impactful and create a personalized customer experience.