Magic Customer Service Words – Part 1


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When you take a look at those individuals who are truly outstanding customer service providers, one of the things they have in common are strong communication skills. They seem to instinctively know how to say the right thing in the right way at the right time.

It’s amazing how much of an impact a single phrase can have on an interaction with a customer. We refer to it as ‘Positive’ and ‘Negative’ language. Positive language are words and phrases that most often trigger positive responses with customers; with negative language most often triggering negative responses.

Over the next four weeks, we will look at some classic examples of how you can use words and phrases to your advantage (or disadvantage). Here are the first two:


“I’m great, thank you for asking!”

When a customer says to you “Hi, how are you?” how do you typically respond? If you’re like most people, you reflexively come back with something like, “I’m okay,” “I’m fine,” etc. And, if you’re like most people, you haven’t given much thought as to how you answer a question that few people ask with any genuine interest.

But try this little experiment just for fun: For the rest of the day today, when someone asks how you are, use a different, more positive word than the one you normally use. Instead of being “okay”, be great, excellent, terrific, outstanding, wonderful, etc. Watch how differently people respond to you. They will smile, their eyebrows will raise a little, and you’ll feel a little more energy in them.

Yes, there will be some who will say things like “Wow! What kind of pills are you taking?” But that’s okay too. Despite the tongue-in-cheek comment, they’re communicating that they’re seeing a positive change.

This simple little change can have a tremendous impact on how people perceive you and interact with you. It makes sense when you think about it. After all, would you rather deal with someone who is “okay” or someone who is “outstanding?”


“Like I told you before…”

If you’re going to say this to customers, you might as well go ahead and say “idiot” out loud at the end. After all, that’s what your customer is going to hear. This phrase serves absolutely no purpose other than to make you feel a little superior to your stupid customer. Don’t ever say this – unless, of course, you’re trying to provoke a fight.

Stay tuned – we have more next week!

Reprinted with permission from the Winning at Work newsletter

Republished with author's permission from original post.


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