Watch What You Say
Eliminate these types of "forbidden" speech from the customer service center.
(Boonton, NJ, April 29, 2015) There is a lot that customer service reps can do to ensure that conversations with customers go smoothly — and serve to build relationships rather than create problems.
In the May issue of The Customer Communicator, Nancy Friedman of Telephone Doctor points to several types of language that reps should avoid:
• Dismissive language. When reps respond to a customer problem or issue with a simple, "Oh, sorry about that," for instance, Friedman sees this as a dismissive cliche, and not a sincere apology. The same applies when reps respond with "Oh, okay," when a customer lodges a complaint. "It’s as if the customer service rep isn’t listening or doesn’t really care," she says.
• Colloquialisms and slang. The language that you use with close friends isn’t always appropriate when talking to customers. It’s important for reps to use appropriate language to demonstrate their professionalism.
• Company jargon. "In most cases," Friedman says, "the language, codes, abbreviations, and technical phrases that you use for internal purposes are not going to be understood by customers. So slow down and use language that customers are more likely to be able to follow."
• Weak and wimpy words. Reps should also avoid language that is likely to undermine a customer’s confidence in one’s efforts. For instance, saying "I’ll try," in answer to a customer request for help with a problem. That and other words like "maybe, might, I think, and I hope" all show a lack of confidence and should be avoided, Friedman says.
About the Customer Service Group
For more than 20 years, the Customer Service Group has helped customer service, call center and help desk managers increase productivity, improve service quality and boost customer satisfaction, loyalty and retention. The Customer Service Group publishes Customer Service Newsletter and The Customer Communicator.