5 Phrases Guaranteed to Boost Your Customer Service

Using the phrase "How can I help you?" is a wasted effort by your employees. Instead, try one of these five phrases to improve your customer service.
January 23, 2013

Many times it's the simple words that make a big difference in customer service. Use these five phrases in your customer service training and efforts:

"Welcome! Thank you for coming." Don't underestimate the powerful words of welcoming a customer through the door, on the phone or to a website. This isn't “Thanks for calling, how can I help you?” Don’t waste your time on these words—they're so common, they're ignored by most customers. Welcoming anyone to a place of business puts a customer in a kinder (and more buying) frame of mind. The employee’s chances of success with that particular customer goes up exponentially after uttering this phrase.

“How can I make your day better?” Again, forget “How can I help you?” By asking the customer this powerful question, it sends the message that the employee wants to treat this customer as an individual and understands specifically how to meet their specific needs right now. Offering great customer service is having the ability to satisfy what that customer wants at this point in time.

"I understand how you can feel that way." Most customers understand there are really no quick fixes to their problems. They just want to know they have been heard by someone representing the company. Empathy is what every customer truly wants. Airlines consistently get bad customer service grades because they are the worst at this—they deny responsibility for almost every problem. For them, it's always the weather or a mechanical issue that's out of their control. It's important for an employee not to pass the buck to another department or manager since the customer sees that employee as representing the entire company at that moment.

"I'm sorry." Contrition is almost always a good thing. Customers always value apologies. But too many apologies can become an irritant when they're used as an excuse for things that consistently go wrong. Apologize once and ensure that the same problem doesn't happen again.

"Please come back again, [customer name].” The worst thing an employee can say after a customer says thank you is “no problem.” What was that? Why should helping a customer ever be a problem? This has become the lazy way of saying thank you. Employees should focus their attention on that customer and say' “You're welcome. Please come back again.” Or try: “I look forward to seeing you again.” Either way, address the customer by name: Never underestimate the power of using a customer's name.

Simple words do make a difference. Try it, and see for yourself.

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