15 Customer Service Phrases to Improve Satisfaction

Ryan Baum
Ryan Baum
Last updated on 
July 28, 2022
15 Customer Service Phrases to Improve Satisfaction
Providing a positive experience can have many benefits. The phrases your brand uses are what make the difference. Find out more here.

Given that 90% of consumers say that customer support is an important factor when deciding to do business with a company, it is essential to provide the best customer service possible. While there are a lot of key considerations that go into crafting an excellent customer experience, teaching your customer service teams how to properly communicate with customers is one vital step.

Every customer service interaction is a representation of your brand, and the words that a support agent uses when communicating with customers matter a lot more than many business owners realize. With that in mind, let's take a look at a few excellent customer service phrases that your support team members can use in various scenarios to help boost customer satisfaction — and five harmful phrases to avoid.

Phrases to greet the customer

It's important for a customer service representative to make a good first impression with customers by using positive language right out of the gate. Here are some common customer service phrases for greeting customers that let a customer know that they’re in great hands the moment your service reps pick up the phone.

"How are you doing today?"

Asking a customer how they’re doing adds a personal touch that makes the customer feel valued. It makes them feel like they’re more than just another issue to be resolved, and it's a great ice-breaker and natural transition into addressing the customer's problem.

When to use this phrase

This phrase can be a great way to start a conversation with any customer that contacts your customer success team, and is typically used after an agent introduces themselves to the customer.

"Happy to help!"

Positive words are a key part of great customer service, and this phrase lets customers know that your company is more than happy to resolve their issues. As with many of the positive phrases on this list, this phrase should be delivered in a genuine, cheerful tone to put customers at ease and reassure them that they are not inconveniencing your support team.

When to use this phrase

This is a great line to use after a customer explains their issue, and serves as a transition into the solutions phase of the interaction.

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Phrases to use to offer a solution

Once a customer explains their problem, it's important to validate their concerns and transition into offering solutions. A few great customer phrases to help your service reps make this transition include:

"Excellent question. I'll find out for you."

Complimenting a customer for asking a great question (even if it's a question your team members hear a thousand times a day) makes customers feel validated. From here, offering to find out the answer transitions the conversation into the solutions phase.

When to use this phrase

This is a great way to respond to a customer's request or address any issue that is phrased as a question and should be delivered as soon as a customer is through explaining their problem.

"Thanks for bringing this to our attention!"

Saying this lets customers know that your company is committed to offering good customer service and is willing to listen to customer feedback. It's a phrase that reassures customers that the customer service agent takes their issue seriously.

When to use this phrase

Thanking a customer for bringing a problem to your attention is an effective way to respond to any issue that a customer points out — even if the issue isn't really your company’s fault.

Phrases to de-escalate an angry or disgruntled customer

Dealing with upset customers is one of the most challenging aspects of customer service, and knowing how to de-escalate the situation is critical. But just because a customer is upset doesn't mean that the issue can't be resolved satisfactorily. If a customer starts getting frustrated or angry with one of your service reps, here are a few great phrases to try.

"Please let me clarify, and correct me if I've gotten anything wrong."

Miscommunication (or misunderstanding) is one common reason why customers become upset. Along with providing your customer support agent the opportunity to clarify whatever it is that made the customer angry, this phrase also admits the possibility that the agent might be at fault for the misunderstanding.

When to use this phrase

Support agents can use this line whenever they feel that miscommunication might be the cause of a customer's frustration. Clarifying the previous response and encouraging customers to correct any misunderstanding on your end is an excellent way to address these situations.

"I understand how __ that must be."

"Frustrating," "difficult," and "disappointing" are all words that you can use to fill in the blank in this phrase, and they all accomplish the same purpose. Using this phrase lets customers know that you empathize with their problems. Oftentimes, this is all it takes to calm down a disgruntled customer.

When to use this phrase

This is great to use when a clearly frustrated customer finishes explaining their problem. It lets them know that you empathize with their pain and that the following interaction will be compassionate and helpful rather than combative.

Phrases to apologize for an issue

Even if your company is not entirely at fault for a customer's issue, it's still essential to validate their concerns and apologize for the inconvenience. In cases where your company is at fault, this is even more important. When it comes time to apologize for a problem that a customer is experiencing, here are three great phrases to try.

"I'm really sorry you haven't gotten your order. Let me check it for you now."

Orders not arriving on time is the most common reason why customers contact customer support, so it's an issue that your support team needs to be ready to address. Apologizing for the delay and offering to check the order's location and status is the most effective way to resolve this common issue.

When to use this phrase

This phrase should be used to offer a solution to any customer who contacts your support team because their order didn’t arrive when it was promised.

"I completely understand your frustration, and I apologize for the inconvenience. Let me look into it and fix it for you."

This great customer service phrase follows a classic formula: empathize, apologize, and resolve. It’s a versatile phrase that your support team can use to address a wide range of customer issues, from wrong or incomplete orders to payment issues and beyond, so be sure to highlight this one during training.

When to use this phrase

This phrase can be used to apologize for just about any problem that a customer experiences and is especially useful when the customer seems upset about the issue. As mentioned above, validating a customer’s feelings — even if those feelings are angry — can go a long way toward building a positive customer experience. However, it’s important to note that this phrase should only be used if you can fix the issue, otherwise you run the risk of upsetting the customer further.

"I apologize for the inconvenience you are experiencing. I'll look into it right now and get back to you with more details."

Quite similar to the previous customer service phrase, this phrase also lets customers know that you empathize with their struggles and are more than willing to offer a solution. Nobody likes to feel like they’ve been left hanging, and adding a few simple words to let the customer know that they can expect a follow up can work wonders for calming frustrated customers.

When to use this phrase

This is another phrase that can be used to apologize for a wide range of customer issues. Since this phrase doesn't directly validate a customer's frustration, it is better than the previous phrase for situations where a customer is clearly inconvenienced but not noticeably upset about the problem.

Phrases to put a customer on hold

A HubSpot survey finds that waiting on hold is the most frustrating part of the customer service experience for 33% of respondents. Of course, sometimes there is no other option but for a support agent to place a customer on hold. To soften the blow and help prevent frustrated customers, here are three great phrases to use when you need to place a customer on hold.

"I'll forward this to our __ specialist. Just a moment."

If you have to forward a customer to another agent, this is a great phrase to use since it lets the customer know that you are passing them off to an expert who can address their needs. Even if “specialist” is not the agent’s official title, using this term or similar language reassures customers that they are being forwarded to someone who knows how to help.

When to use this phrase

Keep this phrase in your toolbox to use anytime you put a customer on hold to transfer them to another customer support agent.

"I can certainly check that for you. May I put you on a brief hold?"

Asking a customer's permission before you put them on hold is a polite way of validating the inconvenience and giving the customer a sense of control over the interaction. Highlighting the word “brief” assures customers that they won't have to wait on hold for long.

When to use this phrase

Asking customers for their permission to place them on a brief hold is a great way to approach any situation where an agent needs to leave a customer on hold to perform further research about their issue.

"Can I help you with anything else?"

This phrase is a great way to make sure that a customer's concerns have been fully addressed before ending a conversation with them. However, it's important to use this phrase carefully. If a customer doesn't feel that their initial problem has been resolved yet, asking if you can help them with anything else is likely to only make the customer more frustrated. 

When to use this phrase

This phrase can be used at the end of any customer service interaction to ensure that a customer doesn't have any more questions or concerns before wishing them well and ending the call or live chat. However, this phrase should only be used when speaking to happy customers who are clearly satisfied with whatever resolution your company offered. 

Phrases to thank customers

Thanking customers for their feedback and continued business is an important part of customer service interactions. If you would like to let your customers know that you are truly grateful for their call, here are a few excellent phrases to try.

"Thank you for your feedback."

Thanking customers for their feedback assures them that your company is open to constructive criticism. Customer feedback of any variety is a gift to your company, and it's important that customers don't feel guilty about raising issues. You can also use words like insight, comments, and suggestions — all of which can sometimes sound a little less robotic.

When to use this phrase

Use this phrase anytime a customer offers any kind of comments about your company, its product, or its services. Remember, all feedback is good feedback, whether it’s positive or negative, so be sure to have a system in place for tracking it and acting upon it when possible.

"Thank you for being our customer."

Every customer needs to know that their business is valued, and this versatile phrase can be used at just about any point in a customer service interaction to show the customer that you appreciate their patronage.

When to use this phrase

This phrase is commonly used at the end of customer service interactions as part of wishing a customer well as the conversation concludes. However, many companies also choose to use this phrase earlier in the interaction to assure customers that they are valued and that your team takes their concerns seriously.

"Thank you for contacting us for help. If this problem arises again, don't hesitate to reach out to us."

For various reasons, many customers hesitate to contact customer support when a problem occurs. But having a customer contact your support team is always better than having them leave your company for another without giving you a chance to make it right. For this reason, it’s important to thank customers for taking the time to contact you, and let them know that you are happy to assist if the issue occurs again.

When to use this phrase

This is a friendly, reassuring way to conclude a conversation with a customer after their issue has been addressed.

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5 customer service phrases to avoid

In many ways, knowing what not to say is just as important as knowing what to say. Instruct your support agents to avoid these five phrases in order to prevent them from frustrating customers and painting your brand in a negative light.

"I don't understand."

You never want to tell a customer that you don't understand their problem. In situations where an agent is having trouble following a customer's concerns, asking for clarification is always better than stating that they don't understand.

What to say instead

  • "Let me see if I'm understanding your issue, and correct me if I get anything wrong..."
  • "Can you walk me through the problem again?"
  • "If I'm not mistaken, the problem seems to be that..."

"Calm down."

Telling an upset customer to calm down is likely to have the exact opposite effect. While it's sometimes necessary to calm a customer down before an interaction can continue, there are better ways to go about it.

What to say instead

  • "I understand your frustration, and I'm happy to help."
  • "I'm sorry that you are experiencing this issue. Let me fix this for you right away."

"That's impossible."

While there are certainly cases where it isn't possible to fulfill a customer's request, it's important to approach these instances carefully. You don't want to make customers feel that you are unwilling to help, which is what telling them that something is impossible often conveys.

What to say instead

  • "I'm afraid this issue might be out of my control, but let me double-check on..."
  • "I'm really sorry about this, and I wish that we could solve this for you. Perhaps you could try..."
  • "This is a really peculiar problem that you're describing. Do you mind if I ask you a few more questions about it?"

"I guess..."

It's important that your support agents come across as prepared and confident, and language such as "I guess..." "I suppose..." and "I'm not sure" doesn’t exactly inspire confidence that customers are in good hands.

What to say instead

  • "I believe that what we are dealing with is..."
  • "Based on what you've told me, the problem most likely is..."

"I can't help you."

Similar to "that's impossible," telling a customer that you can't help them is far too negative and makes it seem that your company is unwilling to help rather than unable.

What to say instead

  • "I understand your frustration, but I'm sorry to say that my hands are tied on this issue."
  • "I'm really sorry about this, and I wish that we could solve this for you. Perhaps you could try..."

How Gorgias' sentiment analysis feature puts you inside the mind of your customers

Knowing the right thing to say when customers contact you is one of the most important elements of great customer service. And thanks to the power of artificial intelligence, getting inside your customers’ minds to understand exactly what they want to hear is now easier than ever before.

With Gorgias' revolutionary sentiment detection, your support agents get invaluable insights into a customer's sentiments and intentions that they can use to guide the interaction. Learn more about how sentiment detection can help you improve your customer support, generate more happy customers, and boost revenue.

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