Customer Service Survival Cheat Sheet: 10 Phrases that Defuse Any Conflict with a Client

Whatever you say or write will make or break the customer service experience. Not much is needed to start a conflict. However, it may take too much effort to defuse it. Instead of devolving a conversation into shouting and arguing, you can have a fruitful discussion and win loyal customers who will become your brand advocates. Would you like to know how? Here are 10 defusing phrases that will help to avoid conflicts, win more loyal customers and brand advocates. 

If I understand you correctly

Statistic shows that there is a 92% retention among companies with a well-crafted customer service approach. The better you understand your customers the higher rate you get for provided customer service experience. Even in a conflict situation you need to ensure that you have enough details to resolve the issue quickly. Use clarifying questions and phrases to collect information and avoid misunderstanding in future. Our Customer Service Etiquette Cheat Sheet Whitepaper will help you to find the right words and phrases.

You have a right to be upset

By expressing empathy you will show your customers that you really care and want to help them. Any of us can appear in such situation, so by putting yourself into your customers’ shoes you will better understand what they feel. Empathy together with personalized approach will defuse tension and help to look into the issue deeper.

I am really sorry for this trouble

People often get locked into conflict when each tries to convince the other that his or her viewpoint is the correct one. However, this will lead to a deeper conflict. Take a break and apologize for the troubles caused. Even if you are 100% right. This will relieve the tension and show that you care and wish to resolve the issue.

I understand your issue and would like to take care of this right now

You have collected information and clearly understand the issue, now it’s time to come to actions. Let your customer know that you are going to take care of everything right away. No matter how angry your customer has been, this phrase will give time to think everything over once again and calm down. Even the worst conflict may defuse and your customer will be happy when you provide a solution.

Sometimes we fail, and this time I’m here and ready to help

Admit your company’s fault and show that you are ready to help. Most conflicts defuse after you admit that something went wrong due to a human error or misunderstanding. Your job is to make things right and that is what you are really good at, so just do it.

Let’s see how we can deal with this

In case you have no ready solution right here and right now, this phrase will help you to explain your customer that you need some time to investigate an issue and find how to resolve it. This way you will keep the conversation running and will also hear some suggestions from your customer. Saying like this is better than asking to wait for a while since in this case you both participate in resolving the issue and your customer actively helps you in this process.

I will do my best to help you

This is your job. However, sometimes customers feel that the person on the other side is indifferent. You need to assure that you are the person who will go the extra mile for the customer.

Let me quickly invite my co-worker, who will help you

Sometimes you need to transfer customers to different departments. However, you need to do this carefully and ensure that your co-worker will have all necessary information and your customers will not need to wait for a long time or explain everything from the very beginning.

Thank you

When you say “Thank you”, you produce positive emotional state that triggers “Feel good” hormones. At the same time, your customer feels higher level of self worth. You see how much positivity brings a simple “Thank you” phrase. Don’t forget to thank your customers for their effort and for making your company better. Each complaint and feedback helps you to improve. Do not forget about that.

We would appreciate if you leave your feedback

If you want your customers to take part in your company’s development and growth, listen to them, to their opinions and suggestions. This is the best source for improvement. Show your customers that you value what they say, even if they give negative feedback. You will be glad to hear it and provide your management the detailed report.

We hope these phrases will help you in your customer service workflow especially in those situations where a conflict is growing or your customer gets angry. An ability to defuse any conflict with a client shows that you are not just a customer support representative, you are a customer advocate, the person will go the extra mile for the customer. You are welcome to share in the comments the phrases you use in conflict situations with your customers.

Olga is a customer service expert and owner at Supportyourcustomer.com. She is writer and blogger on customer service and customer experience excellence.

2 thoughts on “Customer Service Survival Cheat Sheet: 10 Phrases that Defuse Any Conflict with a Client

  • Thank you for taking the time to write this great article, Olga!
    I have added it to my knowledge base, and will use its insight to help me train new Tier 1 ops, to better attend to customer needs.

    Looking forward to reading more from you!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *