Perfect Phrases for Customer Service
Ready-to-Use Phrases for Handling Any Customer Service Situation

ISBN: 978-0-07-174506-2
2010, 256 pages
2nd edition
Author(s): Robert Bacal
Product Format: Book
Item #: R5062
Members: USD $9.95
Non-Members: USD $16.65
In Stock

The right phrase for every situation . . . every time.

You've heard it a million times: "The customer is always right." But let's face it—sometimes the customer (or homeowner or vendor) is misinformed, confused or downright difficult. The ability to handle such customers is what separates the serious professional from the average manager.

Perfect Phrases for Customer Service, second edition, provides the language you need for everyday customer service situations—and includes simple, effective techniques that can help you meet even the most demanding client needs. Master the most effective words and phrases for:

  • Defusing bad situations before they get worse
  • Handling complaints patiently and professionally
  • Satisfying clients
  • Building long-term relationships with important clients
About the Author
Robert Bacal is the author of Managing Performance and The Complete Idiot's Guide to Consulting, and he runs the management website
Chapter 1. Basics of Customer Service
What’s in it for me?
Different Kinds of Customers
First Things First—Dispelling a Customer Service Myth
Understanding What Customers Want
How to Get the Most from This Book
Chapter 2. Customer Service Tools and Techniques
Above and Beyond the Call of Duty
Acknowledge Customer’s Needs
Acknowledge without Encouraging
Active Listening
Admit Mistakes
Allow Venting
Appropriate Nonverbals
Appropriate Smiles
Arrange Followup
Ask Probing Questions
Assurances of Effort
Assurances of Results
Audience Removal
Bonus Buy Off
Broken Record
Close Interactions Positively
Common Courtesy
Complete Follow-Up
Contact Security/Authorities/Management
Empathy Statements
Expert Recommendations
Explain Reasoning or Actions
Face-Saving Out
Find Agreement Points
Finish Off/Follow Up
Isolate/Detach Customer
Manage Height Differentials/Nonverbals
Manage Interpersonal Differences
Not Taking the Bait
Offering Choices/Empowering
Plain Language
Pre-emptive Strike
Privacy and Confidentiality
Pros and Cons
Provide Alternatives
Provide a Customer Take Away
Provide Explanations
Question Instead of State
Refer to Supervisor
Refer to Third Party
Set Limits
Some People Think That (Neutral Mode)
Stop Sign—Nonverbal
Suggest an Alternative to Waiting
Summarize the Conversation
Telephone Silence
Use Customer’s Name
Use of Timing with Angry Customers
Verbal Softeners
Voice Tone—Emphatic
You’re Right!
Part 2. Dealing with Specific Customer Situations
1. When You’re Late or Know You’ll Be Late
2. When a Customer is in a Hurry
3. When a Customer Jumps Ahead of Waiting Customers
4. When a Customer Asks to Be Served Ahead of Other Waiting Customers
5. When a Customer Interrupts a Discussion
6. When a Customer Has a Negative Attitude about Your Company Due to Past Experience
7. When You Need to Explain a Company Policy or Procedure
8. When a Customer Might Be Mistrustful
9. When a Customer Has Been Through Voicemail Hell
10. When a Customer is Experiencing a Language Barrier
11. When the Customer Has Been “Buck-Passed”
12. When the Customer Needs to Follow a Sequence of Actions
13. When the Customer Insults Your Competence
14. When the Customer Won’t Stop Talking on the Phone
15. When the Customer Swears or Yells #1
16. When the Customer Swears or Yells #2
17. When the Customer Won’t Stop Talking and is Getting Abusive on the Phone #1
18. When the Customer Won’t Stop Talking and is Getting Abusive on the Phone #2
19. When the Customer Has Been Waiting in a Line
20. When You Don’t Have the Answer
21. When Nobody Handy Has the Answer
22. When You Need to Place a Caller on Hold
23. When You Need to Route a Customer Phone Call
24. When You Lack the Authority to …
25. When a Customer Threatens to Go Over Your Head
26. When a Customer Demands to Speak with Your Supervisor
27. When a Customer Demands to Speak with Your Supervisor Who Isn’t Available
28. When a Customer Threatens to Complain to the Press
29. When a Customer Demands to Speak to “The Person in Charge.”
30. When a Customer Makes an Embarrassing Mistake
31. When a Customer Withholds Information Due to Privacy Concerns
32. When a Customer Threatens Bodily Harm or Property Damage
33. When a Customer is Confused About What He or She Wants or Needs
34. When a Customer Makes a Racist Remark
35. When a Customer Makes a Sexist Remark
36. When a Customer Refuses to Leave
37. When a Customer Accuses You of Racism
38. When a Customer Plays One Employee Off Another (So-and-So Said …)
39. When a Customer Might Be Stealing
40. When a Customer is Playing to an Audience of Other Customers
41. When a Customer Exhibits Passive-Aggressive Behavior
42. When a Customer Uses Nonverbal Attempts to Intimidate
43. When a Customer Makes Persistent and Frequent Phone Calls
44. When Someone Else is Not Responding (No Callback)
45. When You Need to Clarify Commitments
46. When a Customer Wants Information You’re Not Allowed to Give
47. When a Customer Makes a Suggestion to Improve Service
48. When You Can’t Find a Customer’s Reservation/Appointment
49. When You’re Following Up on a Customer Complaint
50. Properly Identifying the Internal Customer
51. When an Internal Customer Isn’t Following Procedures to Request Service
52. When the Customer Wants Something that Won’t Fill His Needs
53. When You Want Feedback from the Customer
54. When a Customer Complains about Red Tape and Paperwork
55. When You Need to Respond to a Customer Complaint Made in Writing
56. When a Reservation/Appointment is Lost and You Can’t Meet the Commitment
57. When Customers are Waiting in a Waiting Room
58. When a Customer Complains about a Known Problem
59. When a Customer Asks Inappropriate Questions
60. When a Customer Tries an Unacceptable Merchandise Return
Part 3: The Connection between Social Media and Customer Service
Scanning, Watching, Searching (Proactive)
Triage: Proactively Prioritizing Complaints/Comments
Proactive Complaint Handling

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