Your interactions with your customers — from the smallest to the biggest — can fundamentally shape your brand image. With this in mind, your customer service team needs to be more mindful than ever not only of what they're saying, but how and when they're saying it.
Customer service phrases: A little goes a long way
No matter how much time, money, and effort you've put into building a great brand, the reality is that your business is only as successful as your communication. With this in mind, there are some effective phrases your team should get familiar with — and personalize to their liking — to deliver the best customer service.
Part 1: All-purpose customer service phrases
There are plenty of excellent customer service phrases that can be effectively used in most everyday interactions. These "all-purpose" phrases include positive language to help a customer feel better understood and appreciated. By keeping these in your back pocket (and training your support team to use them regularly), your brand can deliver great customer service.
1. "Nice to meet you!"
You never get a second chance to make a first impression — so starting off with the right greeting can make all the difference. Saying something like "nice to meet you" when you speak to a customer for the first time is a polite way to start off your conversation on the right note. That positive first customer service interaction can then carry through to the rest of your exchange.
Some similar phrases to consider:
- "I'm so happy to connect with you!"
- "I'm glad we're chatting."
2. "It's my pleasure!"
The last thing a customer needs is to feel as though your customer service agent views him or her as a burden. When a customer reaches out for support, they have a legitimate need not only to have their issue addressed but to feel valued. Using a phrase like "it's my pleasure" when speaking with a customer demonstrates to them that your customer support agent is not only capable of helping with the request — but is legitimately happy to be doing it.
This, in turn, helps customers feel more valued and appreciated.
Some other ways to say this phrase:
- "Of course!"
- "Any time."
3. "Fantastic question. I'll find out for you."
Even your most experienced customer service representative isn't going to have all the answers all the time. This is where knowing how to gracefully acknowledge a shortcoming and promise a resolution can make all the difference.
Other phrasing to consider:
- "Great question. Let me get that answered for you!"
- "That's an excellent question. Let me look into that for you right now."
4. "I'd be happy to help!"
Here's another important phrase that gives your customer service teams an opportunity to demonstrate their eagerness and willingness to assist the customer. Unfortunately, many customers are hesitant to even reach out for help/support from a company when they need it; perhaps due to past interactions with customer service agents, they feel as though their concerns aren't heard or that nobody cares about their issues.
Some other ways to say this:
- "I'd love to assist you."
- "We're here for you when you need us."
- "Thank you for the opportunity to help you with this."
5. "Thank you!"
This one might seem a little too obvious, but it bears repeating because it is so important to make your customers feel valued. And of course, this isn't a phrase that you're limited to using just once in conversation; sprinkling in a few thank yous throughout your interaction with a customer continues to reiterate the appreciation you have for their business.
Looking to mix it up? Some other ways to say "thank you" include:
- "I appreciate that."
- "Thanks so much!"
When using positive phrases like "thank you" with a customer, it's also a good idea to get specific. For instance, if a customer went out of his or her way to look up an order number for you, acknowledge that with a phrase like, "Thank you for going out of your way to get that information for me."
6. "How are you doing today?"
While it might seem like meaningless "small talk," asking a customer about their day is a great way to build trust and demonstrate empathy. A phrase like this shows your customer that you care about their feelings and that you view them as more than just another ticket number.
Asking a customer how they're doing can also help to set the framework for the rest of the conversation. If a customer gives a pleasant response, great. Otherwise, your agent will understand that he or she may need to work a little harder to turn the customer's day around.
Here are some other possible ways to inquire about a customer's day:
- "How's your day going?"
- "I hope you're doing well."
7. "Thank you for taking the time to explain that to me."
A lot of times, when a customer reaches out with an issue, your customer service team needs to gather a great deal of information to get all the details and context of the problem. When a customer goes out of their way to explain something to you in detail, it saves you the time and hassle of gathering that information piece by piece. By thanking a customer for spending their valuable time explaining an issue, you're acknowledging the effort and time put forth by the customer.
Some other ways to say this:
- "I appreciate your feedback."
- "Thank you for bringing this to my attention."
8. "Thank you for being our customer."
No matter what industry you're in, you have competition. Your customer has chosen your business among all the other options out there, so showing your gratitude is important. If your customers don't genuinely feel like their business is valued, they're likely to look elsewhere. This is where proactively thanking your customers for their business can go a long way.
There's really never a bad time to thank somebody for being a customer. You can do it at the beginning, middle, or end of a conversation — depending on the context. For instance, if a customer seems agitated when you begin your exchange, it may be best to address the issue first and then thank the customer for their business towards the end of your interaction.
Some other ways to thank your customers:
- "We really appreciate your business."
- "Thank you for supporting our business."
- "We're so grateful to have you as a customer."
9. "What else can I help you with?"
Don't make the mistake of assuming that once you've resolved a customer's problem, the exchange is over with. Oftentimes, customers have multiple issues that they need to have addressed in one sitting. Unfortunately, not all customers feel comfortable bringing additional issues to the attention of the help desk after the first one has been resolved.
This is where it's worth going out of your way to ask a customer if there is anything else you can help with before ending a conversation. Doing so will give the customer a welcome opportunity to bring up additional issues without feeling burdensome. Likewise, this gives your team a chance to address the customer's concerns (all of them!), which can help you avoid repeat tickets and improve overall customer satisfaction.
Some other ways to invite additional feedback:
- "How else can I assist you today?"
- “What else can I do for you?”
Part 2: The art of empathy
Let's face it. Not every customer service interaction is going to go well. Your frontline team will encounter its fair share of frustrated customers and issues that simply cannot be resolved. Still, showing a little empathy can go a long way in salvaging a customer relationship — even in situations where you can't solve their problem. In fact, according to a Harvard Business Review study, companies that are perceived to be empathetic outperform their competition by 20%.
By using the right customer service phrases, your service reps can leave a good impression even when the customer might not be getting exactly what they were hoping for.
10. "Thank you for bringing this to our attention!"
Similar to "thank you for taking the time to explain that to me," this phrase is best used when a customer has reached out with a specific issue or problem that your team wasn't aware of. Even if just one customer is reporting an issue, there's a good chance many customers are experiencing it; they simply haven't had the time or desire to speak up.
This is why it's so important to demonstrate sincere gratitude to the customers who do bring things to your attention. Doing so shows them that their efforts are appreciated and that your team is eager to resolve the problem.
Some other ways to say this:
- "I appreciate you letting us know about this!"
- "Thanks so much for telling us about this."
11. "May I ask why that is?"
Here's a phrase that can be extremely useful and helpful, but only in the right context. Specifically, you can use this phrase to dig a little deeper into why a customer is feeling a certain way or took a certain action. Meanwhile, this type of phrasing demonstrates that you value your customer's feedback and have a genuine desire to better understand your customer's experience.
You might also consider these similar phrases:
- "Would you explain why that is?"
- "Would you tell me a little more?"
12. "Our apologies for not being able to fix this for you."
When you're not able to deliver on something a customer wants, an apology can still go a long way. Expressing regret for being unable to assist the customer is a great way of acknowledging their frustrations while still delivering the best customer service. Pairing this with another empathetic phrase (such as "I understand why you feel that way") can serve the purpose of acknowledging and validating your customer's feelings while still following your brand's policies.
Here are some other ways to communicate this phrase:
- "I'm sorry that I can't fix this for you."
- "I really wish I could help with this, but ..."
13. "I'd love to get a better understanding of the problem you're dealing with."
Sometimes, you simply need more information to understand a customer's perspective and resolve the issue or answer the question. Knowing how to request that information thoughtfully and tactfully will demonstrate your willingness to help and your desire to put yourself in the customer's shoes.
At the same time, letting a customer know that you need more information sets more realistic expectations. Sometimes, customers assume that help desk representatives already know everything and should be able to solve problems right away. Of course, you know that's not usually the case. By using this phrase and then following up with the exact information you need, you can better serve your customer and resolve the issue.
Some other ways to ask for more details:
- "Can you tell me a little more about (blank)?"
- "I need a little more information to better understand the issue."
Part 3: Redirecting with grace
Sometimes, your customer service team can help resolve an issue or answer a question — but they might need help from other team members to make it happen. Customers don't always understand why their issues can't be resolved immediately, so being able to explain and redirect them with grace is integral to the customer service experience.
14. "I'm looping in (name/role) to help address this issue."
Telling a customer that you're bringing in another qualified team member will give them greater confidence that the issue will be handled properly. Be sure to tell your customer the team member's name and role within the company to get things off on the right foot.
You could also say:
- "(Name/role) is a pro at handling these issues and is going to help me out."
- "I'm bringing in (name/role) to make sure this issue is resolved correctly."
15. "I'd like to introduce you to (first name and role). You're in good hands!"
Here's another way for your customer service representative to acknowledge that they need outside help to address a problem. Taking the time to introduce a customer to another team member who may be taking over shows that you're not simply trying to "pass the buck" onto somebody else but that you actually care about getting the issue resolved.
Before you make this handoff, be sure to fill in the team member you’re bringing in. Being passed to another person can make the customer feel frustrated, or like they’ll have to explain everything again. Instead, you want them to feel like they’re getting closer to a solution — which they are! Let the customer know that your teammate is up to speed on the issue and 100% ready to help.
Some other ways to bring in another team member:
- "(Name/role) is joining us to get this resolved for you."
- "I've briefed (name/role) about the issue and he/she is here to help."
16. "I've passed this on to our team."
Passing on customer feedback to the rest of your team can be a great way to deliver better service. Meanwhile, letting a customer know that you're doing this shows them that you value their opinions.
Some other phrasing to consider:
- "If you don't mind, I'd like to share this feedback with my team."
- "I want to make sure your feedback is shared with the right people."
17. "We're going to take a closer look at this issue. Is (blank) the best way to get in touch?"
In a perfect world, you'd be able to resolve every customer's issue during your initial interaction. In reality, this isn't always possible. If the issue needs troubleshooting, be upfront about it — but make sure the customer feels confident that you'll be back in touch with a resolution. You might even want to tell the customer you'll reach out again by a certain day or time.
Some other ways to say this:
- "I need to look into this further. Can I call you back on this number within the next hour?"
- "I need a little more time to resolve this issue. What's the best way to get in touch with you today?"
18. "I'll be sending an update/confirmation shortly."
When an issue can't be resolved immediately, customers appreciate having a record of your interaction and a promise of follow-up. Letting them know that you'll be sending them an update or confirmation in a timely manner gives them greater confidence and improves their overall experience.
You can also use phrases like:
- "I'll have an update for you by X o'clock today."
- "I'm forwarding you a confirmation right now."
Part 4: Customer service phrases to avoid
Just as there are some great customer service phrases to use on a regular basis, there are also some your team should avoid.
- "I don't know/I'm not sure." It's okay to not know something, but instead of telling a customer you don't know, turn this into a positive phrase. Use positive words, such as "let me find out for you!"
- "Calm down." When you're dealing with an angry customer, this is only going to aggravate them further.
- "Let me connect you to an agent." Nothing screams "we're using chatbots" more than this phrase.
- "We've never had this issue before." Your customer doesn't care; they just want you to solve their problem.
Enhance the way your CSRs interact with customers
The more time you spend in customer service, the more you'll understand that communication is truly an art. Knowing what to say to your customers at the right time (and what not to say) can truly elevate your brand's customer experience.
Looking for other ways to empower your CSRs? Our team at TestBox is here to help! With our easy-to-use platform, you can test out popular customer service solutions (including ZenDesk, Freshdesk, HubSpot, Dixa, and more) to more confidently determine which one is best for your business. Contact us today to learn more or get started!