Customer Experience News & Trends

You say this, customers hear that: 6 confusing things to stop telling them

What you say to customers and what they hear can be totally different. So be careful to never tell them these six things.

What’s really scary is that often you are just stating the facts, but customers interpret what you say as being mean or in avoidance of a deeper issue.

To avoid any resentment or misunderstandings, you want to avoid these top six misinterpreted phrases:

1. Finger-pointing

You say: “Shipping (Operations, Accounting, etc.) always makes these kinds of mistakes.”

Customers hear: “It’s our mistake, but I’m blaming someone else.”

Try: “I’m sorry you ran into that issue. Let me fix it right now.”

2. Avoidance

You say: “Bob’s gone for the day.”

Customers hear: “He didn’t wait for my call and doesn’t want to help me.”

Try: “Bob’s not available right now. But I can help you.”

3. Laziness

You say: “Sue is busy right now. You might want to call back later.”

Customers hear: “No one wants to help me now.”

Try: “I could help you, or I can take a message for Sue and she’ll return your call shortly.”

4. Not a chance

You say: “That’s our policy.”

Customers hear: “No way, no how. Not now, not ever.”

Try: “Let’s look at some options.”

5. Unreliability

You say: “That should arrive next Tuesday.”

Customers hear: “I’m not sure when it will get there. We don’t have a reliable delivery system.”

Try: “Our deliveries arrive five to seven days after you place an order. If you’d like it sooner, I can arrange express delivery.”

6. Waiting

You say: “Sheila’s with another customer right now. Can you hold?”

Customers hear: “You’re a second priority, and you’ll have to wait.”

Try: “While Sheila’s unavailable, I can help you.”

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