Sometimes customers can test the patience of the best of us, it’s important to remember that customers are obviously essential for your business to succeed, this means you and your employees need to be careful of what you say to them.
Customers never forget when they have a bad experience with a company, a rude employee can easily create a bad image for your whole business. Did you know, that in America around 85% of all business to business transactions will come from your current customers to a business, this means only 15% of yearly revenue is from new customers. As you can see keeping your customers happy is obviously something many businesses need to do.
Each communication you and your staff have with a customer is extremely important, after all you don’t want them to question their loyalty to you at the end of a conversation. With so much competition in many industries, it can be quite easy for your customers to simply leave you and start working with one of your rivals, so make sure you always treat your customers with respect.
Here’s some things you should avoid saying:
NO – If you can help it, never say no to a customer. We’ve all experienced the types of customers who have requested something which is not physical possible to achieve but saying NO usually makes the situation much worse. Instead of saying NO, why not say ‘Let me have a look at that’ or ‘I’ll need to explore this a little further to see if it’s possible’.
This allows you to move the conversation on without the customer feeling offended, from this you can easily show them alternatives which may be more appealing to them.
EXPLETIVES – It goes without saying that expletives should always be a no-no when speaking to customers and clients, however you would be surprised how many times this line can be crossed. Using expletives will always make you look unprofessional no matter what the situation is.
SURE – There’s nothing worse from a customer’s point of view to hear the word SURE, it gets used so much, it’s meaning has kind of been lost – as strange as that may sound. With the wrong tone, you can sound dismissive of the customer’s question or query. It can be a good idea to put a little passion in your reply, for example “Yes, we can certainly do that for you” – as you can see, it sounds much better than a simple sure.
NO PROBLEM – In a similar vein to SURE, No problem is overused far too much in society. People even use it for saying goodbye, how many times have you heard a cashier say ‘no problem’, it happens all the time. “Hey thanks for serving me…..” – the cashier reply’s ‘no problem’ – kind of like their not really interested. Why not just say “You’re welcome, have a nice day” – sounds much more professional and engaging.
I CAN’T – Customers do sometimes expect too much from employees and companies, however saying I can’t never usually ends well. In some cases, it can easily come across as being dis-interested or simply because a person may not want too. Savvy people will turn the situation in their favour and simply say “have you thought about this…” or “hey, that’s quite interesting, let me check that out for you”. As you can see, both of these examples sound much better than I Can’t
I DON’T KNOW – In most customer service situations this is never usually a good response, some people like to use I don’t know, because at least they’re being honest, however if you do use it remember to always return to the customer with the information they require. In that situation you’re offering a high level of customer service and you can bring the conversation forward when you know more information. However, a simple I Don’t Know will never win you much respect in the eyes of many of your clients or customers.
THAT’S NOT MY CONCERN – Unfortunately this phrase gets overused a lot as well, if you’re in a customer facing role, it is your concern. After all, without customers it’s unlikely you would have a job or a business. That’s not my concern always comes across as unprofessional, dis-interested and simply rude in many cases – attempt to avoid it at all costs.
CAN I PUT YOU ON HOLD – How many times have you waited for hours to get through to speak to somebody, only to be put on hold – it’s one of the most irritating things ever from a customer point of view. If you have to ask a customer to hold, ask them first. In some circumstances, they might not have the time to wait and would prefer to call back later.
THAT’S NOT SOMETHING I CAN DO – Even if a customer’s demand surpasses your permissions, it’s still your duty to direct them towards a solution. Rather than letting the customer know what you can’t do, make it clear what you can do by connecting them with someone who can help straight away.