Here are some great words and phrases to use the next time you’re faced with an unhappy or distressed customer or need to put someone on hold.
Turning a negative situation around
Here are some useful phrases to help show the customer that you really are on their side and will do your best to resolve their problem.
It is unfortunate that…
- I understand how frustrating that might be.
- I understand how inconvenient that must be.
- I know that must be frustrating.
- I understand how you feel.
- It is unfortunate that…
- I sympathise with your disappointment…
- I know it can be a pain…
The ‘Feel, Felt, Found Approach’
If you find yourself in a negative situation, you could also try the ‘Feel, Felt, Found’ approach, which can help you build a positive, empathetic relationship with the customer.
- (Insert name), I understand how you FEEL…
- Something similar happened to me and I FELT the same way…
- What I FOUND and I hope this will be the same for you is…
Taking the stress out of on-hold situations
Here are some positive phrases you can use when putting customers on hold.
- Let’s have a look. I won’t be a minute.
- Kindly allow me a minute or two to review your account and get back to you.
- I appreciate your patience. I’m currently looking up the information so that I can provide you with the best option.
- May I place you on hold for a minute to check this for you?
- I am more than happy to find an available supervisor for you. Please bear with me.
- Do you mind holding 2-3 minutes while I process your request? (This detailed response simultaneously asks the caller’s permission to hold, gives the caller a reason for putting them on hold, and provides them with an attainable timeframe for the hold.)
- I have that information here for you now, I will just get it for you. (This removes the negative word ‘wait’ from the conversation.)
- Thank you for staying on the line. (This is a more positive alternative to saying “sorry to keep you on hold” – as “sorry” implies there is something to be sorry about.)
What words and phrases have you tried to rescue an unhappy conversation?
Have you seen success with any of the above? Let us know in the box below.