8 Things You Can Say That Will Definitely Make Your Customers Angry

Aug 17, 2015

Two business men boxing

Everyone is a customer and we’ve all experienced some nasty, rotten, no good, very bad customer service behavior. Whether you screamed irrational unspeakables into the phone or took to your laptop to pen an angry email, there’s a good chance that business deserved whatever you dealt them.

If you own a business, it should be extremely important that you handle your customers with the utmost of care. They are literally, and figuratively, helping you to bring home the bacon. Communicating with them when they have issues plays a huge role in whether you keep or lose a customer.

Because it is of grave importance you handle your customers well when they have an issue, there a handful of phrases you will want to avoid when you’re trying to help them. Here are 8 things you need to ban from your customer service lexicon forever.

  1. We’re busy with customers right now. Can you call back?Angry Andy Samberg Throwing PhoneI called my bank to ask a quick question and no one answered the phone. Weird. So, I called back and the bank employee didn’t answer with a greeting, but rather told me they were busy with customers and could I please call back later. I quickly told him I am a customer and hung up the phone. I was steaming.

    Never make the customer take extra steps to get help. If you’re busy with another customer, get their information and call them back the moment you get a chance.

  2. Please calm down.Characters from a 50s show screaming in horrorNo one wants to be told to calm down. This phrase has the exact opposite effect of its intention. Your customer is angry at your business and that is okay. Let them get that anger out, take accountability, and calmly provide a solution to their problem.
  3. To be honest…Ryan Gosling facepalmingWhile this is a common phrase, it is also one of the most hated. It implies that everything else you’ve been saying is a complete lie. Ouch. Just take this phrase and drop kick it out of your lexicon forever.
  4. You can find that if you visit our web site.Krysten Reitter Giving the 'Seriously' Eyeroll GifOh, good! Thanks for giving me a to-do list, Mr. Business. That’s what I was hoping for when I contacted you with my issue.

    Don’t expect a customer to seek out a new channel on their own. Instead, send them the information they need and make it as easy as possible on them.

  5. You are the first person to complain about this issue.Leonardo Dicaprio giving a 'what can you do?' shrug gifMaybe this customer issue is new to you, but it is needless to point it out. It could make the customer feel insecure about bringing the issue forward. Instead, say nothing and treat it like any other customer issue. After the call, you can use the information as an actionable task your business can take on to ensure this issue never arises again.
  6. That is our policy.Harry Potter saying 'I Really Don't Care' gifMaybe it is your business’ policy to not perform some task. This is also not the customer’s fault. Instead, tell the customer what you can do for them. Come up with a solution that works for both parties.
  7. Are you sure about that?Justin Timberlake looking confused and saying 'Yes." gifDo you want your customer to feel like a dum dum? When you ask them this, you’re connoting that they have no idea what they’re talking about. It is possible that the customer is wrong, but there’s no use in pointing it out. Instead, ask for clarification and repeat back what they said to get a better grasp on the issue.
  8. That’s not a big deal…James Van Der Beek Crying Being dismissive of a customer’s issue is a big no no. They are upset and that needs to be acknowledged. Instead, address the customer with empathy and try to see the issue from their perspective.

What are some phrases you’ve heard that are sure make your customers angry? Share in the comments!


Jamie Lowary


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