We share 50 examples of nice words and phrases to say to a customer, with the aim of enabling you to offer better customer service.
Our 50 Nice Words to Say to Someone
We all like it when someone says something nice to us. It makes us feel good and provides a little rush of dopamine (if you want to get scientific about it!).
So, saying nice words and phrases is a great habit to get into – especially when you work in customer service and want to positively reinforce something that the customer has done.
By using the nice words below, you can give customers compliments, make them feel good and encourage them to repeat behaviours that benefit your brand.
At a simpler level, you can use these words to build rapport and add a friendly tone, which – if used well – may give the customer a more positive outlook of your brand.
Yet many advisors struggle with this, because when they talk to customers, it’s so easy to fall into the trap of just thinking about getting to the solution.
This is one reason why using these nice words and phrases can be really powerful in terms of getting customers on your side and improving customer experience.
The Top Ten and How to Use Them
Here are ten of our favourite examples from the list above, as we explain how best to use these nice words with customers.
1. The Customer’s Name
We are hard-wired to tune in when somebody uses our name. So stating the customer’s name when saying something nice to them ensures that they will really listen to your praise.
Don’t say “I’m sorry for the inconvenience.” Instead, reference the customer’s situation and show real empathy.
An apology can go so far in helping people to calm down and feel better. Listening to the customer and giving a genuine apology is important. Don’t say “I’m sorry for the inconvenience.” Instead, reference the customer’s situation and show real empathy.
You can use the word “I” to take ownership. When you don’t use the word “I”, customers often don’t believe that you are going to do what you say you will. Use the word “I” to show the customer that they are talking to a real person.
The customer will pay attention when you say “you” or use their name. Suddenly, what may have been dismissed as generic information feels as though it is relevant to them.
If you enter every customer conversation thinking “Yes, there is a solution,” you are more likely to find that solution. So bringing the “yes energy” is important, while using the word as a “verbal nod”… (see point 6!).
Using words like “interesting” when a customer is talking helps to reassure them that you are actively listening to their problems. Other examples include: “Uh-huh”, “wow” and “yes”.
7. “Good” / “Great” / “Well Done”
Linking these generic positive words to something specific that the customer has done is great for giving your customer a meaningful compliment and encouraging them to repeat that behaviour.
If you don’t say “please” when doing something like asking for customer information, it can seem rude.
If you don’t use this word when doing something like asking for customer information, it can seem rude. Using it in an upbeat tone will, however, enable you to remain polite and friendly.
Not only is the word “thanks” courteous, but it sounds much more authentic than “thank you”. The same principle applies to saying “have a good day” as opposed to “goodbye”.
10. “Fantastic” / “Marvellous” / “Splendid”
Don’t be afraid to sound too upbeat when the conversation is light. While these words may seem a little over-enthusiastic, they can be great in terms of adding energy to a conversation, especially when saying something nice to someone.
For more positive words like “fantastic”, “marvellous” and “splendid”, check out our article: Top 25 Positive Words, Phrases and Empathy Statements
Making Sure Your Compliments Land Right
People have to believe that you are being genuine in giving your compliments, so that your nice words have meaning.
To do this, you have to be specific in saying exactly what you are complimenting the customer for. Otherwise the customer will feel as though your praise is generic and second-hand.
“Listen out for those golden bits of information, reflect those back with nice words and demonstrate that you have been listening closely,” recommends Neil Martin, Director at The First Word.
Listen out for those golden bits of information, reflect those back with nice words and demonstrate that you have been listening closely.
These golden bits of information – which may reveal a behaviour that you can mirror – are key to making your compliments genuine, authentic and sincere. They also enable you to introduce compliments into the conversation in a natural fluid way.
Just remember to use nice words to frame the compliment in a way that will make the customer feel good and give them a better experience.
For good examples of compliments to give to customers, read our article: 50 Great Complimentary Words to Use in Customer Service
5 Examples of Nice Things to Say to a Customer
While giving compliments is great, there are many more ways in which you can use nice words to make a customer feel good about themselves
Here are five great examples using some of those words highlighted in our top 50 list.
1. “THANKS so much for alerting us to this…”
This statement demonstrates that you are happy to relieve the customer of any future hassle, while highlighting that your organization is good at receiving feedback and acting on it.
2. “I can CERTAINLY UNDERSTAND why you feel [INSERT EXPRESSED EMOTION].”
This is a great example of an empathy statement. It shows that you are putting yourself into the customer’s shoes, uses the word “certainly” to emphasize that and repeats back an emotion to demonstrate that you listen and care.
3. “That is a GOOD question. Let’s see what I can do.”
A very simple way to compliment a customer is to say “good question” – when you can tell that they’ve been thinking about it a lot. The use of the word “I” also shows that you are taking ownership of the problem.
4. “I would RECOMMEND…”
Instead of saying “you should”, this option lets the advisor feel like they are in control and that you are giving them some helpful, “insider” information.
5. “I will PERSONALLY get to the bottom of this and let you know when it’s resolved.”
This statement uses the term “I will” to make a strong commitment to the customer, while the word “personally” is a nice touch, as it once again shows that you are taking ownership of the customer’s problem.
Other Nice Language Tricks to Boost Rapport
Here are three simple but powerful language tricks that will help you to start developing natural, positive conversations with customers – as recommended by Neil Martin.
Active Listening – The more that you listen to someone, the more you understand what is important to them, rather than just making assumptions.
Remember, if you don’t listen to someone, you cannot connect with them because it is all one way.
Be sure to listen out for the facts in what the customer is telling you, as well as their tone of voice and language selection.
So, be sure to listen out for the facts in what the customer is telling you, as well as their tone of voice and language selection.
Consider, what is the customer NOT saying? That’s the heart of active listening.
Repeat Back in Your Own Words – A good rapport-boosting trick is to repeat back what the customer has told you, to ensure they know that you are fully aware of their problem.
But don’t repeat it back word-for-word, that can be a little robotic. Use your own words. This helps to show that you’ve processed the information and that you’ve really listened.
Ask Open Questions – If someone isn’t talking much and giving you a lot of information to work from, asking open questions can really help you to better understand the customer.
Not only that, open questions help you to show interest in what the customer has to say.
So, when using a friendly tone, those “who”, “what”, “when”, “where” and “how” questions can be invaluable in helping customers to engage with you in a nice conversation.
After all, the customer’s responses to your open questions will give you lots of clues about what they are trying to achieve and what they have done – which will enable you to give better compliments.
For open question examples and good questioning techniques, read our article: 10 Effective Questioning and Probing Techniques for Customer Service
The Not So Nice Words
Let’s take a look at some of those not-so-nice words that – when said in a certain context – can negatively impact customer service.
These have been suggested to us by Neil Martin.
When you use the word “but” midway through a sentence, it basically cuts out anything nice that you might have said to the customer beforehand.
A better way is to just make statements, instead of contradictions.
A better way is to just make statements, instead of contradictions. This is a much better idea than trying to get around the rule by saying “however”. It means the same thing!
Take this advice into how you give feedback to your colleagues too. A better feedback technique is to start with something nice and then say: “You can build on this further by…”
“Any” and “May”
These words are very vague. Generally you know, so by cutting these words out of your customer conversations, you can be much clearer and more direct with customers.
The classic example of how “any” can really negatively impact customer service is in the common saying: “I’m sorry for any inconvenience.” Using the word “any” in this sense sounds like you are placing doubt on the customer’s account of events. It is much better to say: “I’m sorry for the problem that we caused you.”
This word – along with “may” – can be a very powerful words in confusing customers, while they could also offer the customer false hope.
“Could”, “would” and “should” may also have the same effect, so just be a little careful in how you use them – especially when writing to customers, when it is much harder to convey tone.
“No” and “Don’t”
While we would never go along with the idea that you should never say no – as sometimes it can be completely impractical and dishonest not to – most of the time, it is best to avoid it.
Why? Well, it is a negative word, it shuts down the conversation and can imply that “We’re not here to help you.”
It is much better to say something like “If you accept…” rather than “Don’t reject…”
The same principle applies to the word “don’t”. It is much better to say something like “If you accept…” rather than “Don’t reject…” This is a key principle of positive scripting.
Never say “customer” to a “customer”. Imagine calling a colleague by the word “colleague” instead of their name. How weird would that be?
Even if you’re referring to other customers, try to refer to them by name wherever you can.
Even if you’re referring to other customers, try to refer to them by name wherever you can. Make things more personal.
If you don’t do this, you are taking a step back from the nice relationship that you’ve created with them and you break the rapport.
The Corporate “We” and “Our”
When you refer to yourself and your company as “we”, you can create distance with the customer.
The customer wants to think of you as their personal assistant on the inside of your business – so don’t be a corporate robot, be more personal.
Instead, use the word “I” to take ownership of their problem, and use the word “we” only when referring to yourself and the customer. That can work well to suggest teamwork.
Jargon and Gobbledygook
A key principle for having good call centre conversations is to try to avoid saying things that the person you are speaking to would never say.
Super-formal language and management speak are common examples of this bad practice, but the most prominent example is industry jargon.
As soon as you use an acronym or a term that the customer is not familiar with, the barriers go up and suddenly the customer remembers you are the advisor and they are the customer – you are not just two people having a friendly chat.
So think: anything they wouldn’t say, you shouldn’t say either.
Find more examples of words and phrases to avoid in customer conversations by reading our article: 15 Things a Call Centre Agent Should Never Say (But Many Do)
The List of Nice Words
To close this article, here is a reminder of our top 50 nice words to say to someone, all combined together in a simple list format.
- [Their Name]
For more great advice on having nice conversations with customers, read our articles: