Things to Avoid Saying to a Customer

8 05 2012

A big part of customer service excellence is saying the right thing to customers. Here are a few phrases to avoid, since they may cause you to lose a sale…and possibly even a customer:

  • “That’s our policy.” This is a frustrating response that’s aimed at shutting down conversation and shows no interest in customer satisfaction. It can be just as maddening as hearing someone say “tough luck.”
  • “No.” Nearly everything is possible for a price. Respond to unusual requests by telling customers you will check into it. Then get back to them with a cost.
  • “Check our website.” Instead of making customers hunt around, offer them a direct link to the page or file they are looking for.
  • “We’re closed.” Customers may not be aware of store hours or what time it is. So rather than turning away a sale, try saying, “We close at __ o’clock and reopen at __ o’clock. Is there something I can quickly help you with now?”
  • “I don’t know.” If you don’t know an answer, tell the customer you will find out for them.
  • “That’s not my department.” Instead of pushing customers away with a vague answer, try saying, “I’ll find someone who knows more about that department.”
  • “No problem.” By saying “no problem,” you are implying that customers are causing a problem. Remember, customers are not an interruption of our work; they are the purpose of our work.
  • “It’s out of stock.” If you can’t tell a customer when an item will be restocked, they will likely buy it elsewhere. Try saying, “That item is currently out of stock and will be back in on _____. Can I get your name and number to call you when it comes in?”

Customer issues arise occasionally at all businesses. However, it is the way your staff handles those issues that determines if customers will return to your business or take their money elsewhere.

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