If you don’t already take the time to regularly stop and listen to your staff answer the phone, then you need to pencil it in your schedule. Set time aside to listen to the way they interact with customers from greeting to call end to be sure every member of staff is representing your company properly.

Staff training isn’t a one-time set and forget lesson at a new staff members induction. Staff must be periodically monitored to ensure consistency – even for the long term employees who feel they know it all – they are sometimes the worst offenders, so relaxed in their jobs that thy start slipping, or doing things their own way.

By making yourself aware of how your staff answers the phone and providing on-going support and training you can avoid many customer service no-no’s including the following two common customer service phrases that turn customers off.

  • ‘It’s not my problem’

These words should never be uttered, along with the even more abrasive ’What do you want me to do about it?’ It is not your customers job to find the answers, even if the answer is not anything to do with your company. Sound confusing? All your service team has to do is use their sense of empathy and common sense. IE: A customer rings your games company with a complaint that is clearly a fault of their computer or ISP. Instead of sending them on their way with a ‘not our problem’, a quick Google search may enable you to troubleshoot a simple problem or to equip them with the correct number they need to call.

  • ‘Sorry, it’s our company policy’

This rage inducing phrase is commonly used but does nothing to help the customer or endear them to your business. It should never be uttered by anyone on your team, so if you catch someone saying it it’s definitely time to get them in for a little re-training. There is almost always a way to keep your customer satisfied within your company guidelines. One sure-fire way to avoid saying those five dreaded words is to eliminate the ‘no’ answers by letting the customer know what you CAN do in a situation, preferably with some choices.
IE: A customer wants a refund on an unwanted gift, instead of saying no, say ‘what we can do is exchange it for something else or give your store credit to use as you wish.’ This gives the customer the control, but within your policy.

It costs so much more to capture new customers than retain old ones, keep that in mind when you next listen to your staff take calls, train them often, train them right and you’ll have happy staff helping happy customers