What makes the best customer service greeting phrases for your contact centre scripts?
We surveyed over 80 of our readers to find out which examples of opening spiel work best.
Our survey involved calling ten contact centres belonging to ten different companies, all of which are household names in the United Kingdom, asking our readers to vote on which examples offered the best customer greeting.
What are the Best Call Centre Greetings?
We asked our survey respondents to vote on which companies had the best greeting messages and also the individual components. This is what we discovered:
1. “Welcome to Lego Customer Service. My name is [INSERT NAME]. How can I help you?” (62%)
This customer greeting phrase offers a unique opening in “welcome to…” and was less formal in using the phrase “how can I help you?” as an alternative to “how may I help you?”
2. “Good afternoon! You’re through to John Lewis. My name is [INSERT NAME]. How may I help you today?” (35%)
– John Lewis
This uses three personal pronouns: “you”, “my” and “I”, in the hopes of establishing a personal connection.
3. “Good afternoon. You’re speaking to [INSERT NAME]. How may I help you?” (28%)
This customer greeting phrase uses two personal pronouns “I” and “you”, which help to demonstrate that the advisor wants to get personally involved to help the caller as an individual.
4. “Good afternoon! Visit Wales, [INSERT NAME] speaking. How may I help you?” (25%)
– Visit Wales
As is the case in the first two greeting statements, the advisor opens with a traditional greeting, introduces the company and themselves, before asking the customer how they can help.
5. “Hi! You’re through to UCAS, how can I help you?” (19%)
Beginning with “hi” instead of “hello” removed the “fake” formality of the situation and allowed the advisor to sound natural and not as if they were reading from a script.
Read this article for: Great advice on developing a call centre script
6. “Hello, good afternoon. [INSERT NAME] from Autoglass speaking. How can I help?”(11%)
It may seem odd to have two separate openings to a greeting, but by doing so the Autoglass advisor certainly did not sound robotic!
7. “British Airways! How can I help you?” (10%)
– British Airways
This script is short, sharp and concise, but some would question why this greeting has no opening, e.g. hi/hello/good morning.
8. “Good afternoon! DW Sports Online, how can I help?” (7%)
– DW Sports
From the popularity of the customer greeting phrases above, it seems as though our readers prefer the advisor to personally introduce themselves, before moving on with the conversation. This personalization can help establish rapport with the customer.
9. “Good afternoon! You are through to Lidl customer service. Can I take your name please?” (7%)
In this example, the greeting could once again benefit from being personalised, before going on to ask for customer information.
10. “Good afternoon! Welcome to DFS customer service. My name is [INSERT NAME]. Just to let you know our calls may be recorded.” (0% of the vote)
Perhaps DFS could consider telling customers that their call is being recorded in the IVR, or the advisor could inform them after they have made their greeting.
[Multiple responses were allowed during this survey, so the total does not add up to 100%]
So, What Makes a Good Call Centre Greeting?
A Contact Centre Greeting Should Ideally Begin with Good Morning / Good Afternoon
Despite the greeting that topped our original poll beginning with “welcome to…”, the overall favourite opening to a greeting in the contact centre was “good morning / good afternoon”.
In fact, almost double the percentage of those that voted said that they preferred the greeting “good morning / good afternoon” (40.7%), as an alternative to “welcome to…” (20.2%).
However, these were still the top two favourite openings to contact centre greetings, with “thank you for calling…” the third most popular option, with 18.5% of the vote.
Greetings Are Best Kept Casual – Don’t Be Too Formal
As highlighted in the poll above, double the percentage of our survey participants prefer contact centre advisors to use the opening “hi” instead of “hello”.
Not everyone likes being addressed by their first name, without being asked first
This signals that people prefer advisors to keep the conversation informal, maybe so they feel as if the interaction is more natural, hinting that advisors should not be robotic in their use of scripts.
Other examples of opening spiel which were not in the poll above and were instead suggested by our readers, include:
- Good day…
- [INSERT COMPANY NAME]…
But a word of caution with keeping greetings casual. As one of our readers advises, not everyone likes being addressed by their first name, without being asked first (or even at all).
Neil Martin, of The First Word spoke about this during this webinar on ‘How to Give the Wow Factor on Email and Live Chat’. He advises that you should follow take your cue from the customer. Mirror how the customer signs off their email. For example, if the customer signs off with their first name, you can use their first name to address them.
If you don’t have anything to go from, stick with the classic “Hi, [First Name]…” unless the issue you are dealing with, is very serious.
Asking “How CAN I Help You” Is Preferred to “How MAY I Help You”
In the theme of keeping a greeting informal, more of our survey respondents preferred a greeting to include the question “how can I help you?” (52.50%), as opposed to the slightly more formal proposition “how may I help?” (47.50%).
However, this was only by a very small margin, and it is important to remember that a more formal greeting may be more appealing to up-market brands.
Other questions that our readers have proposed using in a greeting, include:
- “How may I be of service?”
- “What can I assist you with?”
- “What may I assist you with?”
An Advisor Should Introduce Themselves in Their Greeting
In accordance with five of the top six greetings made by the companies we phoned, our survey participants overwhelmingly believed that an advisor should introduce themselves in their greeting.
In fact, as evident in the graph above, 94.19% asserted that this was something that an advisor should do.
Yet Phil Anderson, Contact Centre Specialist at The Forum, offers a different opinion, stating: “If you want your customer to remember your name, don’t include it in the opening message as this is likely to be too much information.”
“Ask for their name/reference then introduce yourself; your customer is much more likely to remember.”
So, What Is the Best Contact Centre Opening Spiel?
From the results of our survey, we have concluded that the ultimate opening spiel in the contact centre is:
“Good morning / afternoon! Welcome to [INSERT COMPANY NAME] customer service. My name is [INSERT NAME]. How can I help you?”
This is a good example in the sense that it includes our survey respondents’ favourite greeting, opening, and closing question, while the advisor also introduces themselves.
In addition, the greeting contains three personal pronouns: “my”, “I” and “you”, and includes “welcome to”, a favourite feature of Lego’s greeting.
What Do Our Readers Think?
The example above is just our opinion of what is the greatest contact centre greeting. But which customer greeting statements should our readers have used instead? Here are some of their suggestions:
- “Hello, thank you for calling [INSERT COMPANY NAME]. My name is [INSERT NAME], how can I help you today?”
- “Thank you for calling [INSERT COMPANY NAME]. I am [INSERT NAME]. How can I help you?”
- “Good morning/afternoon, thank you for calling [INSERT COMPANY NAME], you’re speaking to [INSERT NAME]. How may I help you?”
- “Thank you for calling [INSERT COMPANY NAME], this is [INSERT NAME]. How may I provide world class service?”
Our readers have also let us know what worked for them when working in customer service. Here are their greetings:
Our Reader Tiffany Suggests:
I work at a service company with an unique name. Our greeting is as follows:
“Thank you for calling Allgood Plumbing, Electric Heating & Cooling, This is Tiffany, How can I take Allgood care of you today?”
It’s long, but we do get a few “that’s cute” comments.
Alex Likes to Use This Greeting Phrase:
I learnt this customer service tip from my time with Apple…
Say “thank you for waiting” when you have long customer queues, as opposed to “sorry about the wait”. If you start with the interaction with an apology, you are put immediately on the back foot.
Thanks to Alex Sergeant
Debby Uses This Great Greeting Statement:
The IVR message already gives the Company name to the customer, so we use this as a greeting: “Good day, you are speaking to [INSERT NAME], how can I help you?”
Thanks to Debby Webster
Found this article useful? Have a look at these:
- The Top 12 Acknowledgement Statements
- Best Tips, Phrases and Words to Use for Building Rapport
- The Right Words and Phrases to Use on a Sales Call
- The Wrong Words and Phrases to Use on a Sales Call
Originally published July 2017. Updated in January 2020.