Managing your business: 10 things not to say to your customers

Customers are the lifeline in any business. Most companies are aware that a word can change a client’s perspective and may cause them to go to the competitor, so they spend much time and effort training their employees on what to say, especially for disgruntled customers. In Australia, research shows that 60% of customers will not think twice in cutting ties with companies if they receive poor customer service.

Understanding the spiels are not enough, as most of these have been overused and sound insincere. Sales and marketing specialist Jenny Spring outlines 10 things NOT to say to customers:

  1. Are you happy browsing? This gives customers the impression that you are not giving them the attention they deserve.
  2. If you’d just let me finish! This is one of the most important things to avoid in Customer Service. They are calling in to complain – whether justifiable or not, is never an excuse to talk over the customer. Allow the customer to finish and offer a solution.
  3. We apologize for the inconvenience. This is a common spiel that often irritates customers. Have a personal approach to make it sound more sincere.
  4. You’re a valued customer. This is a basic expectation from a customer. Rubbing it in further irritates them.
  5. If I have to be honest. As a representative, you are expected to deal with the situation in truth and saying this gives the customer the impression of dishonesty.
  6. Thank you for bringing your experience to our attention. Another canned speech that should be avoided. Provide a more personalized approach by mentioning their reason for calling. This gives them the idea that you are listening.
  7. We keep telling management about this, but they won’t do anything about it. As with any company, restrictions may push you to say this, but this has to be avoided.
  8. It’s not my fault. This gives the customer an impression that you are not accountable for your actions. You are a representation of your company.
  9. I can’t do that. Focus on what you can do and not on what you can’t do.
  10. Don’t let my boss know I told you. This shows unprofessionalism and gives customers the control to demand the next time they call in.

For more of these tips, head to the Sydney Morning Herald website.