We always talk about how our responses to customer support requests should be more personal and less corporate and boring. But what makes a response personal? It's all about the words you use. This article is about how you can dramatically improve your customer support responses just by using some words over the others.
Last week we talked about how empathy is the most important quality in customer support. Today we'll try to put this knowledge into practice. What you need to show to a frustrated customer is that you know and understand how he feels. And empathetic phrases are one of the most powerful tools at our disposal for this. Here are some phrases I personally use frequently:
Add those to your "canned responses" list if your support ticket system has this feature.
There are two words that I never ever use when talking to customers. Inconvenience and Feedback.
For some unknown reason every issue in the customer support world is called "inconvenience" these days. Whether you had a minor trouble or a major disruption that caused you to lose customers, they are both — “inconveniences”. There are better words to use (I just used them in a previous sentence): trouble, issue, frustration, irritation, annoyance, hassle.
“Feedback” is just a horrible word to use when describing someone's ideas and thoughts. We just got used to it and barely notice it anymore, but it's just wrong. Just like with "inconvenience", for some reason everything a customer says is called "feedback". Better words: thoughts, ideas or, at the very least, input.
We usually don't put a high value on the way we say goodbye in emails. Generally everyone has a preset signature like "Regards, Max". We can improve on that. The better phrase to use would be "Let me know, if you need help with anything else. And have a great weekend".
Also the end of a message is great place to add jokes or personal comments to connect with a customer. For example, I mentioned World Cup to many customers during the previous month — everybody loved it!
Essentially the difference between great and mediocre customer support is the words we use. By simply using one words over the others, we can make customers happier.
Max Al Farakh
Max is a co-founder/CTO of Jitbit with tons of experience in customer service.