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15 Customer Service Phrases To Use (And 5 To Avoid) in 2023

Ryan Baum
Ryan Baum
Last updated on 
November 30, 2022
July 28, 2022
15 Customer Service Phrases To Use (And 5 To Avoid) in 2023

Every customer service interaction is a representation of your brand, and the words you use when communicating with customers matter. The right customer service phrases could make the difference between:

  • A high-effort vs. a low-effort customer experience
  • A high CSAT score vs. a low one
  • An escalated customer vs. a quick resolution
  • A one-time buyer vs. a repeat customer

Whether your goal is to update your customer service templates, improve customer service training, or just raise CSAT, have your customer support team members use these 15 excellent customer service phrases (and avoid the 5 harmful ones) to cultivate better conversations. 

15 Useful phrases for customer service

If you use a helpdesk, keep these phrases in mind while building your library of templates (called Macros, if you use Gorgias) to scale the quality of your support and make sure all agents are using the best language possible. 

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  1. “How are you doing today?”
  2. “Happy to help!” 
  3. “Excellent question. I’ll find out for you.”
  4. “Thanks for bringing this to our attention!”
  5. “Please let me clarify, and correct me if I've gotten anything wrong.”
  6. “I understand how __ that must be.”
  7. “I'm sorry to hear that you haven't gotten your order yet. Let me check on the status for you.”
  8. "I apologize for the inconvenience you are experiencing. I'll look into it right now and get back to you with more details."
  9. "I'll forward this to our __ specialist. Just a moment."
  10. "I can certainly check that for you. May I put you on a brief hold?"
  11. “Thank you for your feedback.”
  12. “Thank you for being our customer.”
  13. “Thank you for contacting us for help. If this problem arises again, don't hesitate to reach out to us.”
  14. “Can I help you with anything else?”
  15. If you have any further questions and we’re not online, you can always check out our extensive help center. 

📚 Recommended Reading: 30+ email templates to improve your customer support responses.

Customer greetings

Customer service representatives can 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 shoppers:

"How are you doing today?"

Asking someone how they’re doing adds a personal touch that makes customers feel valued. It's a great ice-breaker and provides a more natural transition into addressing the customer's problem.

“Nice to meet you” 

Similarly, if your customer service team starts out a chat by saying that it’s nice to meet the customer, it adds a more personal feel to the entire conversation. 

“Happy to help!”

Positive words are a key part of great customer service, and this phrase lets customers know that your service reps are excited and ready to resolve an issue or answer a question. 

When to use customer greetings 

Use a cheerful greeting to set a positive, warm mood for the forthcoming conversation. For example: “It’s so nice to meet you! Thanks for reaching out today.” Or, “How has your day been so far?” Or, “I’m more than happy to help in any way I can!”

Follow up with a greeting at the end of a conversation, once you’ve answered a shopper’s questions or resolved their issue. For example: “It’s been so nice to chat with you! Thank you for reaching out to us.” Or, “I’m happy to help. Reach out again any time.” 

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Solve customer issues

Once a customer explains their problem, validate their concerns and transition into offering solutions. A few great customer phrases to help your support team 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. It also ensures that you’ll get to the bottom of the customer's request and figure out the right answer. Take a look at a few examples of when you might use this phrase below. 

Examples of when to use it 

On social media, when answering product questions to help shoppers make a purchase decision. 

“That’s an excellent question! Let me see if we can make that ring in a brushed finish for you.” 

When providing a status update on an order

“Great question—I’m seeing the same thing on my end: Your order has been stuck in the same location for a few days. Let me check in with our shipping team to see why.”

If a customer asks about a price match or adjustment. 

“Good question! Let me find out if we do offer price matching.” Or, “Great question, we can adjust the cost of your order if an item goes on sale within two weeks of its purchase date.”

📚Recommended reading: Tips and Templates for Customer Service Messaging on SMS + Conversational Channels

"Thanks for bringing this to our attention!"

This phrase lets customers know that you’re committed to offering good customer service and are willing to listen to customer feedback. It's a phrase that reassures shoppers that the customer service agent takes their issue seriously.

Examples of when to use it

When a shopper points out an issue with the checkout or shopping process

“Thanks for letting us know that the discount code we provided didn’t work for you! This affects all of our customers and we’re grateful you caught it before we did. It should be fixed now!” 

If a customer receives a defective or damaged item. 

“Thank you so much for bringing this to our attention. This item does not represent the quality that we strive for with our products, and we’d like to send you a replacement ASAP.”

When a customer’s order hasn’t shipped after the allotted processing time. 

“Thank you for bringing this to my attention! We’re experiencing an unprecedented amount of orders due to our feature in a recent magazine.”

📚Recommended reading: 20 Ecommerce Customer Service Best Practices to Help You Level Up

De-escalate angry or disgruntled customers

Dealing with upset customers is a challenging aspect of customer service, and the way your reps diffuse the situation is critical to success. Here are a few positive phrases your team can use with angry customers. 

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

Miscommunication or misunderstandings are common reasons why customers get upset. This phrase provides customer support agents with the opportunity to fully understand what happened and why the customer is angry. 

Examples of when to use it 

After a customer tells you what they’re upset about. 

“To clarify, the order arrived a week after we had quoted you and you no longer need the item. Is that correct?” 

To confirm that you’re offering the resolution that they’re looking for. 

“Let me clarify to make sure that we’ve resolved this for you. Is there anything else that I can help you with, besides sending you a replacement for the item that arrived damaged?” 

To clarify what’s wrong with the item they received. 

“Are you able to send in a photo of the item you received? It sounds like we sent you the navy sneakers, rather than the black sneakers, by accident!” 

"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. The best customer service is empathetic and seeks to solve customer complaints quickly and with compassion. 

Examples of when to use it 

When a frustrated customer finishes explaining their problem. 

“I understand why you’re upset, and I would be too! Let’s figure out a solution that makes you happy and that fully resolves this issue.”

If a package they were waiting on gets lost in the mail

“I understand how frustrating this must be, especially since it sounds like we really missed the mark on getting the item to you in time for your son’s birthday.”

If the color of an item looks different in person than it did online. 

“I can understand why you’re frustrated—what shows up as light blue online looks to be more of a dove gray in person.”

Apologize for order issues

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. When it comes time to apologize for a problem that a customer is experiencing, here are a few great phrases to try.

“I'm sorry to hear that you haven't gotten your order yet. Let me check on the status for you.”

Inquiring about order status is a very 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.

Examples of when to use it

When an order is delayed. 

“I'm sorry to hear that you haven't gotten your order yet. Let me check on the status for you. With the storm on the east coast, we’ve been having some shipping issues with items coming from our New Jersey warehouse.”

If an order is lost or hasn’t moved in a week. 

“I'm sorry to hear that you haven't gotten your order yet. Let me reach out to our warehouse team, as they’re on the ground and can give us the best idea of when your order will get to you.”

For pre-ordered items that haven’t shipped by the expected release date. 

“I'm sorry to hear that you haven't gotten your order yet! Let me check on the status of that item for you. Last I heard, the pre-ordered items were running behind on their shipping dates.”

💡Tip: Use a customer service platform that automatically displays the shipping status of each order next to the customer ticket, so your agents don’t have to waste time chasing (and copy/pasting) information from other apps. Here’s what a ticket in Gorgias looks like, with information from Shopify displayed next to the customer message:

Integrate your helpdesk with Shopify to maximize customer information.

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

This is a versatile phrase that your support team can use to address a wide range of customer issues, from wrong or incomplete orders to credit card issues and beyond.

If you can’t solve something right away, letting customers know that they can expect a follow up can help build a more positive customer experience, rather than just leaving them hanging. 

Examples of when to use it

To validate a customer’s feelings about a frustrating order issue. 

“I apologize for the inconvenience you’re experiencing! This is not how we want our customers to feel when shopping with us. Let me look into what happened so that I can make this right for you.”

To look into alternative solutions for a missing order that’s now sold out. 

“I apologize for the inconvenience, especially since you were so excited about this item and now it’s sold out. Let me check in with my team to figure out when the item will come back in stock, or if we will be stocking something similar in the meantime.”

When you can’t figure out where an order is right away. 

“I apologize for the inconvenience here! I’ll look into this with our shipping and processing team and get back to you with more details. Is the email we have on file for you the best way to get back in contact?”

Put customers 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 call center support agent to place a customer on hold. To soften the blow and help prevent frustrated customers, here are two 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 better address their needs. 

Examples of when to use it

When their question requires information you don’t have access to. 

“I’ll forward this to our warehouse team, who will be able to let me know if your order has reached the warehouse yet. That will give us a better idea of when it will reach you. Just a moment.”

If there’s a different department that is better equipped to answer the question. 

“Let me connect you with our product specialists, who can better answer your questions about the installation of our roof racks onto your car.”

If your support agents specialize in different business areas. 

“I’ll forward this to our damaged orders specialist, who will look into what happened and get this sorted out for you. Just a moment.”

💡Tip: Read our guide on automatically prioritizing and routing tickets in Gorgias to minimize handoffs by putting customers in touch with the right person from the jump. For example, here’s a Gorgias Rule that automatically tags VIP customers (who have spent more than $100) so a dedicated high-touch agent can jump on the request:

Tag and prioritize tickets to improve the speed and quality of customer responses.

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

Asking for 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.

Examples of when to use it

When you need a moment to look deeper into a customer account. 

“Let me look into this for you! Is it alright if I put you on a brief hold while I take a look?”

If you need to check in with a lead or manager for approval. 

“Let me look into this for you. Is it okay if I put you on a brief hold so that I can check in with my team?”

To get guidance or more information from a different team. 

“Let me check in with my team about that. Is it alright if I put you on a quick hold? It should only take a minute.” 

💡Tip: Use a helpdesk that displays customer information from your ecommerce platform (like Shopify, BigCommerce, or Magento) and other tools (like Klaviyo, AfterShip, and Yotpo) to get all the customer information upfront. This will help you avoid asking customers for skippable follow-up information or pausing the conversation to check another tool.

Display customer information in Gorgias customer sidebar.

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.

Examples of when to use it

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 they’re valued, and this versatile phrase can be used at just about any point in a customer service interaction to show customers that you appreciate them.

Examples of when to use it

As part of wishing a customer well at the end of a conversation. 

“Thank you for being our customer! We so appreciate you.”

"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.

Examples of when to use it

To conclude a conversation after solving an issue or answering a question. 

"Thanks for reaching out to us! If you have any other problems or have any questions, don’t hesitate to write in again.”

Provide proactive support 

Offering proactive customer service can take your support to the next level by giving customers the tools to answer their own questions before they need to reach out to you. 

“If you have any further questions and we’re not online, you can always check out our extensive help center.”

Providing self-service resources can supplement product guides or tutorials, give deeper information about returns and shipping policies, and offers information for shoppers to answer their own questions and avoid the hassle of reaching out to your team. 

You can share these resources at the end of a conversation, or as an automated pop up when someone visits your website. 

As a supplement to great support, to look up any details about their product.  

“This handy FAQ article should answer any further questions you might have about how to use your new product, especially if we’re not online to help right away!”

To share more info about returns, orders, shipping, etc.  

“If you have any other questions about our returns process and you’d rather not have to chat with us (we get it, it takes time!), you can always check out our Help Center.”

💡Tip: Here’s an example of a Gorgias Help Center, where customers can read help articles about the product, shipping and return policies, and more. With the Automation Add-on, you can also empower customers to track, cancel, and modify orders without waiting on an agent:

Source: ALOHAS

To share support even when agents aren’t online.  

“We’re not online right now, but we’d love to help! We’ll send you an email answering your question. In the meantime, check out our handy Help Center to see if you can find an answer to your question there.”

💡Tip: You can set up a Rule in Gorgias that automatically lets the customer know you’re offline, plus an estimate on when you’ll be back. Here’s what this kind of Rule looks like:

"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 them more frustrated. 

Examples of when to use it

At the end of a conversation to make sure you answered all of their questions. 

“Do you have any other questions, or can I help with anything else before we end our chat?”

As a way to upsell happy customers. 

“Can I help you find anything else for your holiday celebration?”

5 customer service phrases to avoid

In many ways, knowing what not to say is just as important as knowing what to say. Avoid these five phrases to lessen the possibility of frustrating customers further 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.

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. Instead, let’s…”
  • “This is a peculiar problem that you're describing. Do you mind if I ask you a few more questions about it?”

“I guess…”

Your demeanor should come across as prepared and confident, and language like“I guess,” “I suppose,” and “I'm not sure” doesn’t show customers that they’re 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 can make shoppers feel like you’re 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…”

Customer service phrases FAQ

What is a customer service phrase?

A customer service phrase is a pre-written message that support agents can personalize to answer questions or resolve customer issues. 

What is positive phrasing in customer service?

Positive phrasing in customer service uses positive language to focus on how agents can help answer questions, resolve issues, empathize, or soothe an angry customer. Great customer service phrases use solution-based upbeat language. 

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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