Charlie Mitchell explores how to reassure customers in the contact centre, sharing lots of reassurance statements to make the process much simpler.
What Are Reassurance Statements?
Reassurance is the act of removing someone’s fear or doubt. It’s important, as it helps customers feel confident that their questions and issues will be resolved as efficiently as possible.
Get reassurance right and customer satisfaction rates will likely rise, while escalation requests will tumble.
“In a contact centre, customers don’t see you and that adds to their uncertainty of whether or not their concerns will be taken care of,” says Rea Alducente, Founder of Rea Ninja.
“Reassurance will make customers feel that they will get what they need.”
Using statements just like those listed below, advisors can give customers the confidence that they are listening to them and will be able to resolve their query.
The Top 10 List of Reassurance Statements
1. “Hi, you’re through to John. I’m an Associate in the customer services team here at X company. How can I help you?”
From the opening call greeting statement, an advisor can offer immediate reassurance that the customer has reached the right person.
By introducing their job title, the advisor can establish their expertise, while also presenting themselves to be in a position of authority.
2. “Take your time. I’m here to help you.”
If the customer seems worried and to be in a rush to tell you something, reassure them that things will be okay and that they’ve come to the right place by using this statement. It’s polite code for slow down and take a breath.
“Very often, when people are anxious, nervous or angry, their speech speeds up. This means that it’s difficult for the advisor to really understand what’s going on,” says Sandra Thompson, Founder of the EI Evolution.
3. “Uh-hum…”, “Ah-ha…”, “Yes…”
The little words and phrases above are examples of verbal nods, which can be used by an advisor when listening to a customer in order to sound attentive.
Such nods encourage people to continue speaking and reassure customers that they’re being listened to. This is important, as customers want to know that the advisor is present and engaged.
4. “Thank you very much for that. I’m just going to tell you what I think I’ve heard, so we can be sure that we have understood it correctly.”
Once the advisor has used this statement, they can repeat back all of the important details and ask, “Did I miss anything?”
Such an approach, which is also known as “reflective listening”, can be hugely reassuring. This is because, very often, people perceive that they’re not being understood and, therefore, that the advisor won’t be able to help them.
However, by confirming mutual understanding, contact centres can avoid such presuppositions.
5. “Let me help you find a solution for this” / “Let’s see how we can fix this now.”
When the advisor says this, they are both acknowledging that the customer needs help and offering reassurance that they can do something about the problem.
The show of empathy demonstrates an understanding of the problem, while reassurance enables the advisor to refocus on the resolution.
Often, such a statement is used to follow up an empathy statement. This is because the show of empathy demonstrates an understanding of the problem, while reassurance enables the advisor to refocus on the resolution.
6. “I’ve encountered customers in a similar position to you in the past. What I did to help them was…”
If the advisor mentions that the problem has cropped up before, they can subtly reassure that customer that there is an “oven-ready” solution to their issue.
Also, this statement once again enables advisors to highlight their expertise, so the customer feels confident that they’re in the best possible hands.
7. “I understand the problem. It seems to have been really frustrating. Rest assured, I’m here to take care of this for you.”
If the advisor feels confident that they understand the issue, tell the customer that. Reassure them that they have been listened to and they have done a good job in conveying the message.
To double down on this and further reassure the customer, simply tell them that they can “rest assured”. This doesn’t need to be rocket science.
8. “I realize that this is a very difficult situation. But don’t worry, you’ve got the right person on the line to help you.”
A little pretentious? Perhaps. But, by reaffirming that they are the right person for the job, the advisor enables the customer to grow in belief that a solution can be found.
Just be a tad careful with this. Advisors should only use a reassurance statement like this when they are confident in resolving the customer’s problem. If not, they risk setting the wrong expectations.
9. “Your experience has definitely been unacceptable. I’ll make sure this gets resolved.”
In using this statement, the advisor acknowledges the problem, before reassuring the customer. They do so by giving a timeframe. This can be really powerful in giving the customer further peace of mind.
In fact, the phrase includes a commitment, which is often a good tactic for offering reassurance, while using “definitely” as a power word to generate enthusiasm.
Discover lots more examples of power words that can take your reassurance statements to the next level, by reading our article: The Best Power Words and Phrases to Use in Customer Service
10. “Thanks for alerting us to the problem. I can understand why you feel XXX. Let me find a solution for this once and for all.”
In this reassurance statement, “XXX” represents the word that the customer used to express their emotion regarding the customer issue.
Reflecting back the words that a customer uses can help to reassure them that the advisor was paying close attention. This statement also reassures the customer of a potential solution.
Reassurance vs Empathy
Commonly confused with empathy, reassurance helps remove a customer’s doubts, allowing them to gain confidence in getting the help that they need.
According to Rea Alducente: “Empathy, on the other hand, makes a customer feel that the advisor understands what the customer is going through and thus helps both parties come to a resolution as quickly as possible.”
It is an important distinction, but it also suggests how empathy and reassurance can work together to meet the customer’s emotional needs upfront.
The common mantra around contact centres is, after all, to: “Put feelings before facts.”
However, there has been a big debate as to the impact of empathy. Some believe that certain empathy statements can have an adverse effect on the listener.
“Think carefully about using phrases such as ‘Oh, that must have been really difficult’ and ‘I’ve been through something similar myself’’” warns Sandra Thompson.
“While someone may perceive it to be reassuring to make an empathetic statement, it’s very risky.”
“An advisor once said to me that saying ‘I understand how you must feel’ made them feel uncomfortable. How could they possibly understand?”
So, if advisors don’t feel completely comfortable with empathy, encourage them to just show acknowledgement and reassurance. It’s perhaps best to avoid phoney empathy.
Simply acknowledging that they’ve heard the customer and backing that up with reassurance is one of the most significant things that an advisor can do.
Top Tips for Showing Reassurance
Reassurance statements are designed to fill customers with confidence that their problem will be resolved. They, therefore, need to be authentic.
Here are some top tips to making reassurance statements as authentic and natural as possible.
Use “I” Instead of “We”
Encourage advisors to make reassurance statements more personal and thoughtful by asking them to refer to themselves as “I”.
This sounds simple, but often advisors use “we”, as in themselves and the organization. This comes across as very corporate and fails to establish a genuine connection with the customer.
Practise Your Statements Beforehand
The reassurance statements included in this article are best used as guidance, instead of being scripted, as advisors will feel more comfortable with some than others.
Asking advisors to read them out loud before using them in customer conversations will enable them to get a feel for which phrases work best. Using them in roleplay scenarios can also be a good idea.
Pay Close Attention to Tone of Voice
“Mind your tone of voice and ensure that it’s appropriate for the conversation,” says Rea.
“The way you sound says a lot about the authenticity of your reassurance statements.”
Again, this comes back to the importance of active listening. If advisors listen closely to what the customer is saying, they can respond appropriately, in terms of both language and tone of voice.
Build Up Advisor Confidence With the Product/Service
“In some cases, the insincerity of the reassurance is because either the advisor doesn’t know enough or they don’t have the confidence in the product/service themselves,” says Sandra.
“Advisors may feel like a phoney trying to offer reassurance when they know the next thing that customer does, there’s going to be another problem.”
The issue of advisors not having much confidence in a product could be widespread, as they listen to complaints about it all day.
So, for some contact centres, there may be an inside customer job to remind advisors of great customer experiences and bring them back to the purpose of the organization.
If an advisor listens closely to a customer and demonstrates reassurance – using statements similar to those in this article – customer service will likely be greatly enhanced.
But try not to overthink this. When the advisor reflects back what they’ve heard and asks an intelligent question, this reassures the customer of their ability and that they have been listening.
What happens next is that there’s greater trust. This is important, as you can’t have someone reassure you if you don’t trust them.
The more trust a customer has in the advisor, the more likely it is that the customer will perceive that the issue will be fixed, making for a much better customer service conversation.
As established, trust is an important part of tricky contact centre interactions. Find out how trust can be better established in our article: How to Build Customer Trust From the Contact Centre
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