Five Words That Every Customer Service Pro Should Use

John Scott
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Customer service representatives often learn quickly that certain customer service words can help calm down upset clients. Representatives may build their own selections of words to use with clients, but five customer service words are exceptionally good at helping to clear the air and get the attention of many customers. Using the opposites of these words, conversely, may have exactly the opposite effect. Good customer service includes showing that you understand the needs of the client and are ready to help, and these customer service words help inject that understanding into dialogue.

Customer service professionals likely encounter the occasional upset caller or in-store customer who seeks to blame the company for elements likely beyond the control of the representative. While decisions made at the corporate level are often out of your hands, the call or interaction is where you provide a liaison between the corporation and the customer. The first word that customers want to hear is the personal pronoun "I." "I will take care of your problem. I own this issue, and I am on it." The second word is related. Customers want to hear the second-person pronoun "you." It truly is all about them when they complain, and this is one of the customer service words that can help communicate that aspect. Never refer to your employers or clients as "them," "they," or "those people."

Another of the customer service words every customer service professional should use is "apologize." Mistakes happen, and customers rarely or never do business with a company to feel outrage and anger. Taking ownership of the problem and apologizing for the obvious disconnect can help calm even the most upset of customers. Experienced customer service representatives understand that an apology, sincerely stated, is a key part of the job even when the customer is wrong. By apologizing for the situation and taking command of it with personal customer service words, you are ready to tackle the actual issue at hand.

The final two words are ways to phrase potential solutions without coming across as offensive. They are "perhaps" and "maybe." When attempting to identify the problem that caused the customer service issue, phrasing it as a suggestion may help prevent escalation and bad feelings. "Perhaps display or computer issues made the dress look a different color online, or maybe the power cable wasn't fully connected at the wall." Once you reach this stage, you can begin to offer solutions to the actual problem.

Customer service is rarely the most glamorous of professions, and days can pass where it seems like every customer is calling simply to take out their personal frustrations on someone who is paid to listen to complaints. Customers are likely to be far more receptive when you use these customer service words and techniques to reduce the anger or confusion that drove the complaint and successfully resolve the situation.


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  • Peggy Humphus
    Peggy Humphus
    People do not apologize now days. Even if it were not your fault for whatever, please apologize. You can say, "I am sorry you are obviously upset so let's work together and resolve this problem." Act like you care and be sincere. I've used apology in my 38 yrs. of nursing and it works. Thank you.

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