Studies have shown that some words have a greater effect on people than others. Just as “free” and “sale” entice consumers to buy, there are key words and phrases that we as customer support professionals can sprinkle into our calls and online help desk responses to make customers feel as warm and cozy as they do in their Snuggies at night.
Without a Doubt
No one likes to hear wishy-washy answers to their questions. But when customers ring up the customer support call center to ask for assistance, words like “definitely” and “absolutely” are music to their ears and show them you’ve got the can-do positive attitude to make things happen.
Say my Name, Say my Name
When the barometer of frustration rises, nothing irks a displeased customer more than being referred to as “sir” or “ma’am.” These generic monikers are impersonal and give customers the impression that you lack genuine concern for their plight. So use Infusionsoft to pull up customers’ contact information and call them “Mr. Belding” or “Miss America” accordingly as you navigate through the process of providing excellent customer support.
Studies have shown that hearing one’s own name actually activates more areas of the brain than other words and often has a soothing affect on the psyche. So play the name game (without the bananafanas) and you’ll be well on your way to creating a calmer and more personal interaction.
Words are not only important when you’re emitting them, so remember that each conversation with a customer has two sides. Always be an active listener and take cues from the language your customers are using as well. Red flag words like “ridiculous,” “unacceptable” and “unbelievable” should not be overlooked – this customer is dissatisfied and if you are unable to offer appeasement, you may need to escalate the call according to your company’s policies. Similarly, when customers use phrases like “I’m tired of this,” or “I want to speak to your manager,” it may be time to forward the call on to your higher-ups.
However, sometimes all it takes it a little compassion. Let’s say a customer blurts out that this is the third time she’s calling about the same issue and she’s really unhappy. Maybe she’s not going to hang up until you fix the problem. If you acknowledge the issue by starting your response with, “I can understand your frustration,” you’ll find often that this personalizes the call and subtly reduces a customer’s blood pressure below the boiling point.
Remaining positive on the line and wanting to ensure that a customer’s needs are met is honorable, but we urge you to take great care to avoid making promises that cannot be fulfilled. “Let me see what I can do,” is a positive phrase that implies you’ll try to fix a problem; “Yes, I can make sure you’ll receive that shipment tomorrow,” is worrisome because it involves departments and factors that are outside of your control. If a customer truly is waiting to receive an order, you can offer to get in touch with your shipment department and even track the package. Words that offer to provide a convenience take the pressure off the customer while avoiding situations that could backfire later.
So next time you start that reply back to a customer, keep these language tips in mind, and you’ll be on your way to providing World Class Customer Support!