Customer support is hard.
It requires delicate interpersonal skills and a lot of discernment.
Support reps can use all the help and reminders they can get! In light of this, here are 6 things you should never do when speaking to a customer.
(Did you know you can connect with your customers via text alerts? Try out a free test account today!)
- Never say “No.”
No one likes to be told “No,” and yet sometimes we must deny requests that customers make.
Instead of just flat-out saying “No” when a customer requests something that can't be done, put a positive spin on it: “Although we can't include that specific feature for free, you can always upgrade plans to include that feature at minimal cost!”
- Never interrupt.
When you interrupt someone, you are in essence telling them that what you have to say is more important than what they have to say.
Only under very rare circumstances is it acceptable to interrupt a customer when they are speaking. Even if they are rambling, try to find a strategic spot to interject respectfully.
- Never say “There isn't anything more I can do.”
We've all had that frustrating experience of being on the phone with a customer service rep who just doesn't seem to be able to do anything about your situation. It leaves you irritated and undervalued as a customer.
Never end the conversation on this note. Always propose some kind of solution when speaking to a customer, even if the solution is to have someone higher up contact him/her.
- Never argue.
In our normal everyday lives, we can argue back and forth and try to convince people our opinions are right. But in the world of customer service, this is not acceptable.
Do not argue with a customer, even if you know you are right. The point of the interaction is not to prove you are right but rather to maintain as much rapport with the customer as possible even in the midst of a disagreement. You can offer clear explanations, but it must never escalate to the point of arguing.
Let's face it: we all have a sense of pride and we don't like it when people point out our faults. Your customers are no different.
When speaking to a customer, if you notice they are doing something wrong and need to be corrected, don't focus on all the things they are doing wrong. Instead, gently and politely focus on explaining how they can do it correctly.
- Never be only negative.
This one really extends from many of the others (especially #1).
Constant negativity can be extremely disheartening and draining. While some negativity is unavoidable, there are ways to sugar-coat it so that it doesn't taste so bitter in your customer's mouth.
Anytime you must say something negative, always try to balance it out with something positive: “Your account has been disabled due to an unpaid invoice, but we'd be happy to get it back up and running again!”