The Language of Customer Service


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The way you express yourself in your customer service interactions will determine whether your message will be received in a positive or negative way.

Communication is at the core of where customer service takes place. Language is an exceedingly powerful tool when it comes to how communication happens.

Even when you are conveying unpleasant news, the impact can be softened by the use of what we call positive language.

Negative language and communication doesn’t always mean negative attitudes. But even those stellar team members with positive attitudes need to learn to turn away from language and communication that creates the impression of negativity for your customers.

Whether you communicate verbally or in writing, the way you express yourself in your customer service interactions will determine whether your message will be received in a positive or negative way.

Falling into the trap of negative talk is easy. Too many of us do it without even thinking about it, especially when we write to others. A poor selection of our words is enough to make a negative the customer interaction, sour the customer relationship, and contribute to a poor customer experience.

We regret to inform you that we cannot process your application to register your business name, since you have neglected to provide sufficient information. Please complete ALL sections of the attached form and return it to us.

Is it polite? Certainly. But it’s also overly formal, and teeming with negative words. Words like cannot and neglected focus on barriers to your customer and place blame, leading to a poor service experience.

Congratulations on your new business name!

To complete your registration, I’ll just need some additional details from you. Could you return the attached with with the highlighted areas filled in? I’ll then be able to complete the remaining steps and send your certificate within two weeks.

Good luck in your business! I wish you much success.

Personal. Positive, even when asking for additional details. What customer wouldn’t come away from this interaction full of confidence, excitement, and still willing to complete the required items?

  • Positive customer service language focuses on actions that can be done.
  • Positive customer service language offers choices instead of roadblocks.
  • Positive customer service language is helpful and encouraging.
  • Positive customer service language includes positive consequences that can be expected.
  • Positive customer service language is timely and time-bound so customers know when to expect service results.

Language makes or breaks your customer service experience. Positive language is the key to improved customer relationships.

Take a look at your recent customer service interactions. Is the language use in your emails or phone calls contributing to a positive customer service experience?

Republished with author's permission from original post.

Flavio Martins
Flavio Martins is the VP of Operations and Customer Support at DigiCert, Inc., a leading provider of enterprise authentication services and high-assurance SSL certificates trusted by thousands of government, education, and Fortune 500 organizations. Flavio is an award-winning customer service blogger, customer service fanatic, and on a mission to show that organizations can use customer experience as a competitive advantage win customer loyalty. Blog: Win the Customer!


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