Customer Service Phone Tips & Phrases

by Lee Morgan; Updated September 26, 2017
Use these helpful phone tips when working in a customer service setting.

Working in customer service requires some skill and etiquette. Keeping customers satisfied by the quality of service on the phone is an important part of maintaining favorable opinions from consumers. Following some basic customer service tips, and knowing how to choose your phrases, will go a long way in keeping customers and your boss happy.

Can, Not Can’t

Always remember to keep customer service calls positive. Never go straight into what you can’t get done for someone, according to BusinessKnowHow.com. Instead, focus on what you can do to resolve the problem or to accommodate the caller.

If someone is dissatisfied with a broken product, for example, do not say that you cannot refund the money. It will make a far better impression if you choose to say that you can send out a replacement.

Apologize And Defuse

Regardless of who is at fault for the caller’s anger, it is your job to defuse the situation and calm the caller.

A good way to calm down an angry caller is to apologize sincerely for the situation, according to BusinessKNowHow.com. This apology will make the caller feel as though the company is concerned about their anger and that they have “gotten through” to you. The apology is also a prime opportunity to refer to the caller by name, giving them even more personal attention and forcing the conversation to take a friendly turn.

Multiple Lines

When a second call comes in while you are dealing with one customer, politely ask them to hold for a moment and then switch to the other caller, answering with your company name and immediately asking if they can hold for a moment. Once you have their permission, place them on hold and return to your other call where you’ll try to wrap it up as quickly as possible.

If you believe the first caller will take considerable time to wrap up, go ahead and politely ask if you could get a name and phone number to return the call as soon as you finish up with the other person. Most people will prefer this to long, unexplained hold times.

Know Your Stuff

An important ability to have when working the customer service phones is to know all the answers. Of course there will be times when you get a question that you do not know the answer to, but make this the exception rather than the rule. Sounding as if you are confident and have reliable information will make for a positive customer service experience. And if you do not know the answer, don’t fake it. Simply say you don’t know and you’ll have to look into it and get back to them.

Choosing The Right Words

Use lots of positive words and phrases when working in a customer service phone setting, according to the Call Centre Helper website. Use phrases such as “I would be happy to assist you,” or “I completely understand” in order to put your callers at ease and let them know they are talking to someone who cares and understands their issue.

Remember they are calling you for advice in some instances. Use phrases such as “I would suggest,” or “To avoid this inconvenience in the future…”

About the Author

Lee Morgan is a fiction writer and journalist. His writing has appeared for more than 15 years in many news publications including the "Tennesseean," the "Tampa Tribune," "West Hawaii Today," the "Honolulu Star Bulletin" and the "Dickson Herald," where he was sports editor. He holds a Bachelor of Science in mass communications from Middle Tennessee State University.

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