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Studies have revealed that it takes 12 positive experiences to make up for a single negative customer experience. When the stakes are so high, why commit avoidable mistakes such as using brash, arrogant or dismissive statements that will destroy the customer experience instantly and wait anxiously to get 12 chances to make up for that one mistake? Get it right the first time by staying vigilant and avoiding saying these 5 statements-

“I can’t help you with that.”

Many a times, calls intended for one department can land in other department due to variety of reasons. Say for instance, a customer has an issue with his laptop. Hence he decides to contact technical support team of the laptop manufacturer and dials the toll free number. Within few seconds, he is greeted by the IVR system and is asked to select an option that connects him to appropriate department. But due to difficulties in understanding the IVR options, the customer selects an option to connect to the sales department rather than the one he intended to. What should the agent who receives the call do in such situations? Yes, the agent really can’t be of much help to the customer, but that doesn’t mean that he has to decline to lend a helping hand. The only thing that he manages by doing so is alienate the customer and force him to disassociate with the brand.

Hence instead of saying that you can’t help, it can be beneficial to politely say: “It sounds like ‘X’ department can assist you better. Let me transfer your call to them.”

“I’m new.”

New recruits have a tendency to use this excuse to wriggle through the troubles whenever they are cornered. But what they are failing to understand is that by doing so they are only portraying themselves in an unprofessional manner. In fact, as per recent studies, admitting that you are a newbie will in all probability malign your credibility and make customers lose their faith in you, or worse, the brand you are associated with.

Alternatively, it is beneficial that a rep buys some time to resolve the issues by saying something like: “I will have to consult my senior with regards to this issue. Please hold and stay on the line.”

“I don’t know.”

Yes, nobody expects call center reps to know everything, but that does not mean that they should through in the towel whenever confronted with a difficult situation. Be proactive and take the initiative to solve the problem.

Try to stay on top of things by using rebuttals such as: “Let me find that out for you.”

“I didn’t understand.”

Put yourself in the customer’s shoes and get a sense of how it feels when an agent refuses to serve you saying that he can’t understand whatever you are saying. Doesn’t it sting you badly and compel you to cut all ties with that particular brand?

Hence no matter how true this statement may be, make it a point that you show utmost level of empathy towards your customers and replace “I don’t understand,” with, “I understand that you’re facing a difficulty here. Let’s go through it together.”

Dead air time in conversations can make customers feel anxious and they may start questioning your credibility as a service provider. Hence make sure that you never give a chance for them to utter the words, “are you still there?” while on the phone with you.

Replace the dead air time either with an informal chat or say something like: “I will need a few seconds to pull up the information that is needed to resolve the issues. Please stay on the line while I hold.”

The Bottom-line

At a time when nearly 70% of customers are ready to disassociate with a brand at the occurrence a single negative experience, don’t give anything to chance. Be vigilant, keep the aforementioned mistakes at bay and resolve the issues within a single go to stay afloat in the industry.