Transform Your Customer Service: 12 Phrases to Use and 8 to Avoid

Transform Your Customer Service: 12 Phrases to Use and 8 to Avoid

July 4, 2024
Author: Clark Sang

Good customer service begins with effective communication.

You may not be aware, but 86% of customers are willing to pay more for a better experience. This goes to prove precisely how much quality customer service can affect business success.

What then mainly constitutes good customer service? Most of the time, it's the language that is used.

In this article, we would explore 12 of such customer service phrases which you could use to make your interactions more impactful and help you build deeper relationships with your customers. On the flip side, we also discuss 8 phrases you should avoid in order to ensure negative experience does not get created.

At the end of the article, you will have a set of useful phrases to up your customer service game. Ready to take your customer interactions to the next level? Let's get started!

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The Power of Words in Customer Service

Language plays an important role in the shaping of consumer perceptions and satisfaction. Ever wondered why some of the customer service interactions make you feel valued, while others irritated the hell out of you? It's all in the words and the tone.

Think of it this way: A customer calls with a complaint. The response is, "I'm sorry for the trouble. How can we make it up to you?" Compare that to, "There's nothing we can do about that."

The first demonstrates empathy and willingness to assist a person, whereas the second just closes the door on that conversation and leaves the poor customer feeling voiceless.

Positive language can turn around even a potentially negative interaction into a positive experience. For instance, just by saying, "I know how frustrating it may be," a customer would feel at least acknowledged or understood. In contrast, sentences like "You misunderstood me" may provoke feelings of blame and disrespect in the customer.

Customer service communication is another way to share better relationships with customers by using the right words, defusing any tension, expressing empathy, and having a sincere commitment to customer satisfaction. So, what are these magical phrases that can transform your customer service interactions? Let's delve into them next.

Using appropriate language can make a world of difference for your customer service strategy. Want to know which key phrases are the deal-makers? Here are 12 customer service phrases to use.

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12 Customer Service Phrases to Use

The key to successful customer service is appropriate language. Here are 12 phrases that might render your customer relations and interactions completely different.

1. "Happy to help!"

  1. Usage: Use this phrase when a customer thanks you or expresses gratitude.
  2. Impact: It conveys a cheerful willingness to assist, making the customer feel appreciated and valued.

2. "I understand how (blank) that must be."

  1. Usage: Apply this phrase when addressing a customer's complaint or frustration.
  2. Impact: This phrase builds empathy by acknowledging the customer's feelings, which can help in diffusing tension and showing that you care.

3. "As much as I'd love to help..."

  1. Usage: Use this when you need to set boundaries or explain limitations.
  2. Impact: It maintains a positive tone while gently setting limits, ensuring the customer feels understood even when you can't fulfill their request.

4. "Great question!"

  1. Usage: Use this phrase when a customer asks a question.
  2. Impact: It encourages inquiries and makes customers feel smart and valued for their curiosity.

5. "Nice to meet you!"

  1. Usage: Use this at the beginning of interactions, especially in face-to-face or video communications.
  2. Impact: It creates a warm and friendly atmosphere, setting a positive tone for the conversation.

6. "May I ask why that is?"

  1. Usage: Use this when you need to understand a customer's concern or hesitation.
  2. Impact: It shows that you are interested in their perspective and willing to listen, which can lead to more effective problem-solving.

7. "Thanks for bringing this to our attention!"

  1. Usage: Use this phrase when a customer provides feedback or reports an issue.
  2. Impact: It shows appreciation for their input and encourages open communication, which can lead to improvements in your service.

8. "I apologize for the inconvenience."

  1. Usage: Use this when a customer experiences a problem or inconvenience.
  2. Impact: It expresses regret and takes responsibility, which can help in calming an upset customer and showing that you are committed to resolving the issue.

9. "How can I help you today?"

  1. Usage: Use this at the beginning of interactions to offer assistance.
  2. Impact: It demonstrates a proactive approach and willingness to help, making the customer feel prioritized.

10. "Is there anything else I can assist you with?"

  1. Usage: Use this at the end of interactions to ensure all concerns are addressed.
  2. Impact: It leaves a positive final impression and shows thoroughness in your service.

11. "Your satisfaction is our priority."

  1. Usage: Use this when reassuring customers about your commitment to their needs.
  2. Impact: It builds trust and reinforces your dedication to customer satisfaction.

12. "We'll work to resolve this issue promptly."

  1. Usage: Use this when addressing a problem that needs resolution.
  2. Impact: It provides assurance and a solution-oriented approach, which can increase customer confidence in your service.

Use these phrases in the course of your customer service and experience better communication and interactions with your customers. Now, wouldn't you like to make your customer service smoother and more likable by using all these killer phrases? Make a start today.

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8 Customer Service Phrases to Avoid

If using the correct phrases can improve your customer service a lot, avoiding some of these phrases can create a bad customer experience. Here are eight phrases that you must avoid and their better alternatives.

1. "I can't help with that."

  1. Reason to Avoid: It can be really dismissive and unhelpful, leaving your customer feeling abandoned.
  2. Alternative: "Let me find someone who will be able to assist you."
  3. Impact: It presents that you are prepared to help and assures the customer that a solution will be delivered by an adept individual.

2. "You misheard me."

  1. Reason to Avoid: The phrase is overly blameworthy and doesn't make the listener feel on the right side of the case.
  2. Alternative: "Let me clarify what I meant."
  3. Impact: It shifts blame to the situation of trying to understand which breeds a positive interaction.

3. "I don't know."

  1. Reason to Avoid: Admitting lack of knowledge without a backup plan makes one appear unprepared and unprofessional.
  2. Alternative: "I will check that up for you."
  3. Impact: It tells them that you really try always to give the right information, even though not at that point in time.

4. "Calm down."

  1. Reason to Avoid: The moment you tell someone to calm down, you just increase their volume rather than soothe their emotions.
  2. Alternative: "I know this can be really frustrating."
  3. This statement tells the customer that you understand what they are feeling and you are with them; thus, it may help to lower the customer's pitch.

5. "Uhh."

  1. Reason to Avoid: Sounding uncertain and unprofessional occurs when one uses quarks such as "uhh" or "um."
  2. Alternative: Pause and think before uttering the next sentence.
  3. Impact: The answer one gives when asked or provoked is clear and confident; hence, it shows one's degree of being professional in assuring provision of the right remedy.

6. "There's nothing we can do."

  1. Reason to Avoid: This term leaves no room for compromise and indicates to the customer that the situation is hopeless
  2. Alternative: "Let's see what we can do."
  3. Impact: This keeps the conversation open with the customer and indicates that you are trying to help at all costs—even it takes a little creativity

7. "You're not understanding me."

  1. Reason to Avoid: This term pushes the blame back on the customer for the lack of communication
  2. Alternative: "Let me explain in a different way"
  3. Impact: It puts the responsibility on you for clear communication, and the customer does feel respected and valued as a result.

8. "That's our policy."

  1. Reason to Avoid: Referring to policy in a vacuum can sound rigid and uncaring.
  2. Alternative: "Here's why we handle it this way."
  3. Impact: Giving reason for your policies allows the customer to make sense of what you are doing and to feel that you care about being transparent.

Your conversations with customers will be so much more positive and constructive if you avoid these phrases and use the substitutes suggested. More than anything else, this will settle issues better and lead to better, more trusted relationships.

After all, it is your words that mean so much in the world of customer service. Want to take your customer interactions to the next level? Make these changes effective today and watch the difference!

How to Implement These Phrases in Your Customer Service Strategy

Now that we've covered the phrases to avoid and use, how can you effectively incorporate these into your customer service strategy? Here's how to implement them:


Primarily, training is paramount. People in your customer service team must be familiar with the phrases used and learn in what context to use them. Normal training sessions would help in reminding the trainees on the concepts. You could also onboard these phrases into the training of newly recruiting employees. This way, everyone commences at the same point.


One of the fiercest practices can be role-play, isolating ways employees might use this language.

Set up mock customer interactions in which your team members might use the recommended phrases and show how to evade those that put them in a shocking light. By this experiential path, employees themselves will start feeling more at ease and confident under real-life conditions. For example, you could use the situation with an angry customer for practicing how well your employees can use empathy-driven phrases, for example, 'I can only imagine how frustrating that must be for you'.


It's key to continually seek feedback from customers and employees. What do they feel about these clichés being used time and time again –ad nauseam? How does it resonate with the customers? They may even have suggestions for enhancing them.

Continuous Improvement

Implementing these phrases is not a matter of once and done, but on an ongoing basis. Review and update your customer service scripts regularly based on feedback and changing customer expectations. Encourage a culture of continuous learning—make the employees feel free to suggest improvements.

These areas ensure you can then apply these incredible phrases into your customer service approach, implementing far more successful customer services levels and a stronger, more empathetic team. Keen to start seeing the benefits in action? Get these steps in place today and see a change in your servicing experience!

VOC AI Chatbot

Is there a way to assure that you will never have to go through the hassle of encountering a window of time where the wrong language in your customer service will upset your customers? Well, there is—a VOC AI Chatbot.

An AI chatbot that could be integrated across diversified business platforms. With a response time of fewer than 5 seconds and an ability to solve 72% of the customer's inquiries, scores in the industry are crystal clear. Especially during Black Friday, when customer numbers surge and tempers flare, integrating our AI chatbot ahead can mitigate these risks.

Benefits of Using the Right Customer Service Phrases

Using the right phrases in customer service can make all the difference for your business. Here are some of the critical benefits:

Customer satisfaction

The use of empathy and positive-expressions words, combined with solution-driven service phrases, make customers feel valued. This boosts their satisfaction scores towards positively recommending your services. Satisfied customers are obviously likely returning customers and further recommending new clients.


Good communication earns trust and builds a healthy relationship. Hence, when customers feel that their complaints are genuinely being answered, they'll more likely want to stay loyal. Loyalty implies repeating business with the customer and hence, long-term relations, which is a major key for a business to increase and grow.


Just try to make it such that positive interactions lead to positive word-of-mouth, which will do further in making your brand a household name. It will make the story happy customers tell to other friends and associates about your brand, offline and online. It will bring other customers to your business and differentiate it in a crowded marketplace.


Equipped with these phrases, embedding consistently right practices in your customer service experience can be one that not only resolves but also pulls a positive impression with it. Ready to see these benefits in action? Get started using these phrases in your customer service strategy today and watch your business thrive!

This means that, therefore, good customer service is pegged on good communication where the 12 recommended phrases allow you to get the most from your interaction to promote good relationships and customer satisfaction. In contrast, the 8 opposed phrases will help make the bad situations avoidable and build trust with customers like you.

Remind yourself: the words you choose can and will make the difference in whether or not your customers view your effort as service. Train your team, role-play through the lessons, then role-play some more. Solicit feedback to continually improve your approach.

Ready to revolutionize the way you conduct customer service interactions? So, start today with these phrases to see a game-changed business in action. Great customer service does not just solve problems; it leaves lasting impressions. Let's make every count of customer interaction!


Q1: Why is language so important in customer service?

A1: Language shapes customer perceptions and satisfaction. The right words can show empathy, build trust, and resolve issues effectively.

Q2: How can I train my team to use these phrases?

A2: Implement regular training sessions, role-playing scenarios, and continuous feedback to help your team master these phrases.

Q3: What should I do if a customer is still unhappy despite using positive phrases?

A3: Continue to listen actively, show empathy, and seek alternative solutions. Sometimes, escalating the issue to a higher authority can also help.

Q4: How often should I review and update my customer service scripts?

A4: Regularly review and update your scripts based on customer feedback and evolving service standards. Aim for at least quarterly reviews.

Q5: Can these phrases be used in written communication as well?

A5: Absolutely! These phrases are versatile and can be adapted for use in emails, chat support, and other written communications.

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