In a service environment, the language that we use has a huge impact on customer emotions. In a sales environment this is even more critical.
Here we have not only put together a list of the top 25 positive words to improve customer service, but we have also done the same for positive phrases and empathy statements.
The Top 25 Positive Words
Good Things DO Come in Small Packages.
These little words should win medals, as adding any one of them into a conversation has the potential to transform average customer service into great customer service.
Below is our list of 25 positive words and some example of using them in customer service.
Example Uses of These Words in Customer Service
1. I definitely will make sure that it gets sorted…
2. I absolutely agree with you…
3. I can certainly help you…
4. That is exactly right…
5. I completely agree with you…
6. I will quickly run through this with you…
7. That is a fantastic alternative…
8. Great news!
9. Marvellous choice…
10. That is an excellent suggestion…
11. I hope you enjoy your…
12. Splendid! All that is left to do now…
13. Yes, it is essential that you…
14. It is a very generous offer…
15. I can highly recommend…
16. Thanks, we aim to provide a friendly service…
17. That’s certainly impressive, Mrs Smith…
18. That it is an interesting idea…
19. Brilliant! I’m glad we are on the same page…
20. Yes, it is an exciting prospect…
21. I think that it’s a terrific option…
22. That is absolutely fascinating…
23. You certainly are an expert on this…
24. That is personally my favourite option…
25. It would definitely be ideal, considering your situation…
Why Do so Many of These Positive Words Have an -LY Ending?
The first six of our top 25 words all end in -LY. But why is this?
Surprisingly, if you start a sentence with a word ending in LY, then what follows is regarded as truth and is very hard to object to.
Gary May, one of our readers, says that: “Surprisingly, if you start a sentence with a word ending in LY, then what follows is regarded as truth and is very hard to object to.”
“This is a little-known persuasion secret in contact centres, but all the major corporations and their marketing agencies have worked this out.”
Gary seems to have a point. Just look at some of the slogans that are being used by brands that are household names.
- Exceedingly good cakes
- Probably the best lager in the world
- It does exactly what it says on the tin
Don’t Be Afraid of Sounding Too Upbeat
Words such as “fantastic”, “great”, “marvellous” are very positive words and can really inject some energy into a telephone conversation. They help the advisor to sound upbeat and interested in helping the customer, says Melanie, another one of our readers.
Consider the following interaction, for example:
Was the advisor too enthusiastic? Melanie certainly does think so, stating: “Such positive words bring great energy to a call, and yes, ok, they may be over the top, but you’ll never hear a customer complain about how the agent was too positive or upbeat.”
Three Bonus Words
These three words may not have made our top 25 words list as single options, but they work well together. They are “feel”, “felt” and “found”.
These words are often used together in the contact centre, as Chris Wood, a reader of ours, says: “using these words works well in sales scripts, but they can be used in a variety of ways.”
For example, an advisor can put these words together like so:
“Mr Smith, I understand how you feel … many of our happiest customers felt the same way… however, what they found is…”
Or when dealing with a difficult or angry customer, an advisor could use these positive words to turn a problem into a solution, like so:
“Mr Smith, I can see why you feel like that. Something similar has happened to me before and I felt the same way. What is found, and I hope this will be the same for you, is…”
Together, these word work well in creating positive phrases. More of which are highlighted below.
The Top 25 Phrases
There are so many phrases that work well in customer service, but knowing when to use the best statements can be tricky.
So, here we give 25 positive phrases to use at specific parts of the call, with different options suggested for each.
When Greeting the Customer
In our article, “The Best Customer Service Greeting Phrases – with Examples“, our readers found the following two greeting statements to be the most effective in “kicking off” a positive customer service interaction.
1. “Welcome to [INSERT COMPANY NAME] Customer Service. My name is [INSERT NAME]. How can I help you?”
2. “Good morning/afternoon! You’re through to [INSERT COMPANY NAME]. My name is [INSERT NAME]. How may I help you today?”
When More Information Is Needed
Staying upbeat when needing more information from the customer is a valuable skill. However, if an advisor struggles to do this, encourage them to ask basic questions of the customer, while scattering in some of the positive words discussed earlier.
3. “So, what I understand so far is… it would be great if you could tell me a bit more about…”
4. “For me to… it would be brilliant if you could give me just of few more details on.”
When Acknowledging the Customer
We have previously quizzed our readers on their favourite acknowledgement statements to improve customer-advisor interactions, in our article “The Top 12 Acknowledgement Statements for Customer Service”. The top three are highlighted below:
5. “I realise that this situation is difficult, but let’s try and find a solution.”
6. “I would feel the same in your situation, but we will sort this out…”
7. “I’m sorry you are having this problem. Let’s see if there is anything we can do to help the situation.”
When Reassuring the Customer
Once the advisor has a good understanding of the customer’s problem, and has acknowledged their concerns, it is now important to reassure them.
Once the advisor has a good understanding of the customer’s problem, and has acknowledged their concerns, it is now important to reassure them. Positive wordplay can be key here. Just look at the following examples.
8. “Thanks, it is great that you alerted us to this.”
9. “You are absolutely correct. Let’s look into this.”
10. “Definitely, I will make sure that this gets resolved for you.”
When Giving Instructions
When giving out over-the-phone instructions, it is an advisor’s job to make the process as easy as possible. So, it is good practice to try and weave the following phrases into conversations, to help the customer get from A to B with a smile on their face.
11. “All you need to do is to just….”
12. “A simple way / method to change it will be to…”
13. “As soon as you receive…”
When Being Courteous
Courtesy and positive language go hand-in-hand, as we discussed in our article: “The Best Courtesy Words and Phrases to Use in Customer Service”. After all, old-fashioned courtesy is a must for any service or sales team. So, advisors should ideally be using statements like those below:
14. “Would you be happy for me to put you on hold for a minute or two, while I quickly retrieve your details?”
15. “I will send over the link to the email address that we have on our system and, if you would like, I can go through the rest of the process with you.”
When Building Rapport
Using positive small talk – once the query is in its concluding stages or if both the advisor and customer are waiting for something to happen so that a solution can be found – is great for rapport building. Therefore, advisors could try dropping some of the following phrases into the conversation during these pivotal moments.
16. “What I’m doing for you now is…”
17. “Don’t worry, I often make that mistake myself.”
18. “How is the weather where you are today? Better than here, I hope!”
To find more examples like this, read our article: Best Tips, Phrases and Words to Use for Building Rapport
When Handling Angry Customers
Advisors are often told to try to stay positive when interacting with an angry customer. However, that is much easier said than done, especially if the advisor is having to deal with such a caller for a long period of time. So, the focus should instead be on getting the frustrated customer to change their mood. The positive phrases below could help to do this.
19. “We always value customers who are keen to give us their feedback. I will be sure to pass on what you have told me to our managerial team…”
20. “I recommend that you (INSERT ACTION), Mrs Smith, so that I can take further action without delay.”
Other phases to use when speaking with an angry customer include: The Right Words and Phrases to Say to an Angry Customer
When Closing the Call
So, the advisor has successfully helped the customer to solve their query, given them a quick summary of the call and explained the next steps. All that is left to do is finish with a “killer” positive call-closing statement. We found some great examples of these in our article: “The Best Call-Closing Statements”, with two of them being showcased below.
21. “Thanks for calling, and if you have any additional questions, please call us.”
22. “Have a nice time in [INSERT PLACE NAME] on your holiday.”
When Making a Sale
While dealing with a customer complaint, it may also be part of an advisor’s job to “sell-up” other areas of the business. Where we have before given tips for selling over the phone, here are some useful phrases to help you seal the deal.
23. “We have a variety of …”
24. “It’s a wonderful service where instead of…, you can…”
25. “This is the best plan/scheme for your requirements…”
Use Positive Scripting
In the same way that these 25 phrases can be used to add real value to a conversation, equally there are statements that advisors use which can have a negative influence on a customer–advisor interaction.
To ensure that advisors don’t use these types of phrases, positive scripting is often used. This is the process of designing a script to ensure that advisors do not frustrate or anger customers.
While many do not believe in positive scripting, there is little harm in making sure that advisors know what not to say and giving them some positive alternatives.
For example, the positive phrases in the table below were originally derived from phrases that advisors should ideally never use.
|“I don’t know/I’m not sure”||“Let me find out for you…”|
|“If you check our website…”||“I can email you a link to the web page and stay on the phone, if you need further assistance.”|
|“I’m afraid that isn’t included in your policy…”||“Your policy doesn’t cover that, but I can check if we can offer that to you in a different package.”|
|“I’m sorry but that item is out of stock and won’t be available for 4 weeks.”||“The item is out of stock. Would you like me to pre-order it for you so it will be with you in 4 weeks?”|
To find out more phrases to avoid, read our article: 15 Things a Call Centre Agent Should Never Say (But Many Do)
Positivity Comes with Tone as Well as Words
While it is all well and good to use positive phrases, Anurag Bansal, a reader of ours, stresses that: “One of the most important things to remember, while on a call, is that the person on the other side can actually see you.”
Your expression while thanking, encouraging or even apologising to the customer should be the same as if talking face to face.
While Anurag does not mean ‘see’ literally, she adds: “Your expression while thanking, encouraging or even apologising to the customer should be the same as if talking face to face. Your tone and expression should be genuine as fake words come out fake.”
Another example of this would be when using empathy statements, as if the advisor does not sound empathetic when using them, the customer may think that they are not being listened to or, worse, ridiculed.
So, make sure tone and expression are taken into account, when using the following phrases…
The Top 25 Empathy Statements
When using the phone, empathy statements allow an advisor to establish a connection with the person that they are communicating with.
These statements create trust and mutual understanding, which can bring great benefits to customer service interactions.
While we go into more detail of what makes a great empathy statement in our article “18 Empathy Statements That Help Improve Customer-Agent Rapport”, here are 25 great examples to try out in the contact centre.
1. “I would feel the same in your situation, but we will sort this out…”
2. “I know how frustrating it can be – let’s see how I can help you…”
3. “I completely understand how frustrating it is…”
4. “I appreciate how difficult it is to…”
5. “We will work to resolve the problem. You just enjoy your (birthday/holidays/Christmas break, etc.), and I will be in touch shortly.”
6. “We are keen to resolve this as much as you are…”
7. “If I were in your position, I would feel exactly the same…”
If I were in your position, I would feel exactly the same…
8. “I appreciate you bringing this to our attention…”
9. “I will contact you as soon as we have had an update.”
10. “Definitely, you are making perfect sense.”
11. “I can assure you that this will absolutely happen.”
12. “We will help you get this issue resolved.”
13. “Apologies for the wait, I appreciate your patience.”
14. “Don’t worry, I can see why you did that.”
Don’t worry, I can see why you did that.
15. “Yes, that would certainly frustrate me too.”
16. “What I would do in this situation is…”
17. “How do you feel about…”
18. “I know others who have been in your situation and what we did to successfully help them was…”
19. “Just so we know what we’re aiming for, what would be the best-case scenario for you.”
20. “Absolutely, I can certainly fix that for you.”
21. “I will quickly put this into action for you and then everything will be back to normal.”
I will quickly put this into action for you and then everything will be back to normal.
22. “Just so I can clarify and help you, the problem is…”
23. “I’m afraid that we cannot offer you X, but what I can do for you is…”
24. “I am going to take care of this for you.”
25. “That does sound frustrating, let’s see what I can do to help.”
To find other phrases like this, read our article: 18 Empathy Statements That Help Improve Customer-Agent Rapport
How are you Using our Positive Words, Phrases and Empathy Statements?
It has been great for us to see that you have been putting these words, phrases and empathy statements into practice in your contact centres.
We received a great example from a contact centre in the Philippines of how they printed our lead image on their contact centre walls, as shown below:
Closer to home, we have also seen other contact centres do this. Neopost’s contact centre in Romford was one such contact centre, using some of our words on their contact centre walls, like so:
So, to all contact centres, from around the world, who are doing this, thank you for your all of your nice messages and continued readership!
Have you discovered any other positive words and phrases that work for you?
If so, please add them in to the comments box below.
Originally published in June 2006. Updated in February 2018.
Found this article useful? Why not also have a look at: