These statements are guaranteed to sour your customer interactions.
- “I don’t know.” Most customers understand that you or your employees don’t know the answers to all their questions. But they get frustrated by “I don’t know” because it also implies “I don’t care.” Validate the question, and take action to find the answer.
- “I can’t do that.” It’s important to coach your employees to take ownership of issues that might be out of their department or over their heads. Encourage them to figure out what they can do.
- “Calm down.” Give irate customers the chance to vent, and don’t take it personally. Responding to unreasonable customers by telling them to keep calm or lower their voice will make a bad situation worse. Listen and empathize, and remain calm.
—Adapted from “15 Things Retailers Should Never Say,” Shari Waters, About.com Manage & Grow blog, retail.about.com/od/customerservice.