Customer Experience News & Trends

9 things you should never say to customers

Business jargon has become the butt of many jokes.

After all, who doesn’t have to hold back a laugh when someone uses “synergy” (the epitome of all buzzwords) and seriously means to?

But all joking aside, sometimes it’s hard to let these standby phrases go because you’re so used to seeing and hearing them yourself.

New year, new vocab

The absolute last place you want to use these broken-record phrases: a marketing or sales pitch, or customer service call.

Why? Because even if they don’t say anything out loud, customers are judging you on the inside.

More or less, for every buzzword or phrase you use, prospects’ BS alarms go off.

In other words, using these projects an air of insincerity to your audience.

Now’s the time to kick the habit and start 2013 with a clean slate.

Take a hint from and avoid these marketing clichés no one wants to hear:

  • Customer-focused. As opposed to what? If you really are customer-focused, then talk about their actual needs, not how you’re so in tune with them.
  • Best in class/Best in breed. Don’t say it. Prove it!
  • Low-hanging fruit. As far as we’ve seen, if there’s jargon to never use, it’s this. It hits home beyond the marketing world. It’s sited the most on “do not use” lists for office life in general. What it translates to in a customer’s head: You were too lazy to grab these on your own.
  • Exceed expectations. This sends one of two messages: 1) The customer has low expectations that you can surpass every time with little to no extra effort, or 2) exceeded expectations will become the norm, at which point you’ll stop exceeding expectations.
  • Unique. Listen, you special snowflake, we’re all unique. But to convince your customer of that you need to tell them why.
  • Value-added. You’re trying to puff up the deal by slipping something into it that didn’t cost much of anything.
  • Expert/seasoned. Again, prove it. One doesn’t necessarily mean the other, and neither automatically equals the best option for the customer.
  • Exceptional ROI. Besides being a loaded phrase (what qualifies as being exceptional?), this is something that can be shown with numbers, not recapped in jargon.
  • Turn-key. Nothing ever turns out to be this easy, and its use certainly creates skeptics.

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