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Whether you have a whole team handling customer complaints or support, or if it’s just you, commit these phrases to memory and never EVER use them to skimp on the quality of customer service you provide:
That’s our policy.
This is a phrase that is less than useless. It is destructive. It’s the customer service equivalent to “That’s tough” or “You’re out of luck.” It’s primary purpose is to shut down a conversation. It only accelerates the transformation of current customers into a former customers, and was undoubtedly crafted by someone completely oblivious to the value of customer retention. Customers should not accept contract verbiage as an excuse for a less-than-promised product or service. “That’s our policy” might save a current sale, though all future business will likely be lost.
There’s nothing I can do
There’s ALWAYS an option—such as returning the customer’s money. Even if there really IS nothing you can do about it right now, offering work arounds, information, ANYTHING is better than “There’s nothing I can do”. Focus your team on problem solving rather than problem diverting. Give them the freedom to find creative alternatives. Reward them for innovative solutions and brushfires doused.
Would you mind holding for a moment?
Of course they mind. “I’m going to put you on hold while speak with my supervisor, and I’ll check back with you in a minute or so if I haven’t an answer by then.” Sure. It’s long-winded, but considerably more satisfying for your already frustrated customer.
You’ll have to go to our website.
This is just another way of saying “I can’t help you.” Instead of making your customer hunt around with their browser after they’ve already waited on the phone, email them a link directly to the page or necessary file.
That’s the manufacturer’s responsibility. (or) Our business partner will have to help you.
You’re telling your customers that while you’re happy to take their money at the time of sale, you’re not willing to back them in a crunch. Your customer doesn’t have a financial relationship with your partner, supplier, or manufacturer… and therefore no leverage in negotiating a remedy. You took the customer’s money. So, whatever the problem is, it’s your responsibility to fix.
Never let these phrases pass the lips of your customer service team.