They say that it takes years to build trust, seconds to break it, and forever to repair it. The same is true in business as well. As a business, happy and loyal customers are one of the most valuable assets you can have, and trust built on the foundation of good customer service is essential to garner them. Customer happiness is so important, that sometimes even established relationships can be destroyed simply by saying the wrong thing when it really counts. So without further ado, here are six things you should avoid ever saying to your customers:
1. “That’s not our fault”
When dealing with an upset customer, deflection of blame will never help. Resolving the matter requires listening and actively looking for a solution, regardless of whose fault it was. Take the time to listen and understand why the customer is upset. Use gentle language to show you care about their concerns. And finally, do your best to resolve their issue in an agreeable way. While the problem may not actually be your fault, you still need to focus on solving it as if it is.
2. “Calm down”
“Calm down” is one of the easiest ways to escalate your customer’s anger in an already heated situation. Even if you think the frustration is unwarranted, do your best to empathize with the customer and acknowledge that their concerns are important. Use phrases like “I understand” or “I see why you’re concerned” to make your customer feel heard. Simply being acknowledged can easily help defuse their anger and put you back on the path to finding a productive and mutually beneficial resolution.
3. “It’s not that big of a deal”
If it’s a big deal to your customer, then it should be a big deal to you, too. Never diminish your customer’s feelings about a situation by saying something dismissive like “it’s not that big of a deal.” This is sure to upset and frustrate them even more. Instead, work to understand why they feel it’s important and try to find the best possible solution.
4. “We’ve never had anyone complain about ____”
Never lead your response with this line—the fact that nobody has complained about it before is completely irrelevant to the situation at hand. Saying this annoys your customer and doesn’t contribute anything toward resolving the complaint. Instead, when something is brought to your attention (even if you’ve never heard it before), thank the customer for voicing their concerns and work with them to come up with an agreeable solution. This way, not only do you have a resolved issue and a happy customer, you also have honest feedback on where your company may be able to improve.
5. “That’s for another department”
While you may feel you’re doing the right thing transferring your customer to someone who can better assist them, phrasing it this way can often cause more harm than good. Rather than giving the appearance of care and concern, it almost gives the customer the impression that you want to hand them over to someone else so you don’t have to deal with them. Instead of “that’s for another department,” try something like, “I would love to help, but I think our “____” department will be able to assist you better. Do you mind if I transfer you to them directly?”
It should go without saying that in business, you need to keep it professional. That means leaving the expletives alone and finding a polite way to communicate whatever it is you need to say. Never risk ruining your company’s reputation by being careless with your language.
Providing excellent customer service is not an easy job, but knowing some of the major things to avoid makes it a bit simpler. Empathy, communication, and care go a long way towards making (and keeping) your customers happy. To get the best-in-class customer service representatives for your home service business, contact Jyngle today for a free discovery call.