Strong customer service is the very foundation of a successful business. That’s because the customer service team is the main point of contact for your customer base, so positive experiences means your company is more likely to retain customers and build a strong reputation. In 2020 we shared a blog post about must-have skills for your customer service team, which listed empathy, persuasive speaking, and multilingualism as crucial qualities in an agent. In this blog post we’ll explore some key phrases that build on these qualities and will leave your customers feeling satisfied, looked after, and respected.
But first, a word on sincerity. Sometimes customer service agents come across as insincere, especially when phrases are repeated often enough to become clichés. However, we’ve selected each of the following phrases to be easily adaptable to suit the particular needs of the customer, so your agents will always display genuine empathy and understanding. With a repertoire of helpful phrases like these to suit any conversation, your customer service team will be aligned with your brand and ensure your company reputation remains spotless.
“I would feel the same if this happened to me. We’ll sort this out.”
Customer service agents must demonstrate empathy in order to form better human connections and show the customer their problems are understood. There’s nothing more frustrating than a dismissive customer service experience, so a phrase that demonstrates understanding is a must-have for any agent. In sales they call this “positive acknowledgement,” and it’s a fantastic way to form long-lasting relationships with customers, whatever their issue or complaint.
“Just so I’m clear…”
Customer service agents often deal with issues or complaints. As a result, it’s extremely important that the agent fully understands the problem. Repeating the issue back to the customer will guarantee the agent understands and will simultaneously make the customer feel heard and understood. It might seem simple, but this phrase is an effective way to build up rapport and iron out any misunderstandings.
If your customer service agents are speaking their second language, misunderstandings may be unavoidable. That’s why a multilingual customer service team is a true asset to any company. With Babbel for Business, your customer service team has access to 14 different languages all available on an app or their computer. This means they won’t need to worry about classroom lessons — they can learn a new language in between shifts or on their way to work. Matt Watkinson, author of The Ten Principles Behind Great Customer Experiences, says “Few things generate more goodwill and repeat business than being effortless to deal with.” This phrase especially applies to a language-fluid workforce.
“I don’t know, but let me find out.”
This phrase is in every experienced customer service agent’s repertoire because it’s as simple as it is effective. It’s common that customer service agents are dealing with dozens of varied problems every day. Some problems might be more obscure than others, however it’s important the customer experience is efficient and effective. This phrase will give the agent time to find out the best solution, and lets the customer know they will soon have an answer or resolution to their problem.
For non-native English speakers, the phrase “let me find out” is more empathetic than “I’ll find out.” The phrase “let me” puts all the responsibility on the customer service agent’s shoulders, making the customer feel looked after and supported.
“I’ll send you an update in one hour.”
When a customer has a complaint or request, they don’t necessarily expect it fixed immediately. What they do expect, however, is clear communication and a definite timeline. Using this phrase during a customer service call will mean the customer can get on with their day while you, the customer service agent, resolve their issue. It’s one of the best ways to ensure a happy and satisfied customer, and will guarantee a good experience for everyone involved. Just remember — if their query takes longer than the stated time, let them know the new timeline. For more amazing tips and hints on business communication, read this blog post.
“I’m sorry, that’s not something we can do. However, what we can do is…”
Your customer service agents won’t always be able to meet the requests of your customers or clients. This is where negotiation and salesmanship skills come in. A firm “No” is never appropriate on a customer service call. If your agent is not able to fulfill a request, they can use bargaining phrases that softly let the customer know your company boundaries while offering them a similar, attractive offer. For example, if you aren’t able to give your customer a free product, you can say: “I’m sorry, we can’t give you a free product right now, however what we can do is offer you a 50% discount voucher.”
The customer will feel vindicated, they will receive compensation, and the customer service agent will be sticking to company policy. It’s win/win!
These phrases will help build the foundation for any customer service team, however nothing can beat a multilingual workforce. If your customer base speaks mostly English, and your customer service agents speak English as a second language, they may struggle to nail the nuances, tone of voice, and empathy needed to conduct these complex and challenging conversations. That’s where Babbel for Business comes in. Our award-winning language learning app has 14 different languages available for every level and with business-specific courses. Your customer service team can learn from a course created for their needs, which will lead to fewer misunderstandings, better service, returning customers, and increased revenues.
Lilly Miner, Expert for Digital Learning
Lilly focuses on different learning methods. Whether online learning or blended learning – the motivation of the learners is particularly important to her.