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  • Positive Language

    By CrysTelCall On Customer Experience Comments April 17, 2014

    Positive Language

    Language is considered to be a very powerful tool, for it can impact the way your message is expressed to the other person deeply. When it comes to customer support, the ability to choose words wisely and incorporate positive language with your speech, is a required soft skill. Whether your communication with customers is written or oral, changing your conversation patterns and replacing cold, negative words with helpful, positive ones can go a long way in sealing the deal or in delivering exceptional customer experience.

     

    In a nutshell, positive language means placing emphasis on what can be done, instead of on what cannot be done, showing interest in the customer's needs and also showing willingness to help them and resolve his/her issues. Whereas negative language, often creates distance and uneasiness between the agent and the customer, and implies a lack of action and responsibility. So, in order to improve customer your customer interaction, you should:

     

    1.    Identify the negative words and phrases you use.

    2.    Replace them with more positive words and phrases.

    3.    Practice using the new phrases in your everyday interaction with people. 

     

    The following are common phrases that agents tend to use every day without being aware that customers often perceive them as negative, along with some positive phrases to replace them:

     

    ·         First things first, there's only one right way to introduce yourself. Introduce yourself properly; state your name and your company's name right from the start.

     

    ·         If you're in the sales department, don't ask customers if they're busy, because their natural reaction would be to say "yes", ask if you could take a few minutes of their time instead. However, if you're in the customer support department, use the phrase "how can I help you?" as it shows that you're aim is to "help" them resolve their issue unlike using "what seems to be the problem?".


    ·         If you're dealing with an irritated customer, don't tell them to "calm down". You may sometimes come off as apathetic and this can cause things to go south and you ending up with a more irritated and frustrated customer. Apologize on behalf of the company for the inconvenience, assure them that you understand their issue and start discussing a resolution.

     

    ·         By all means avoid these disastrous phrases:

     

    "Like I said…"

    "As soon as possible"

    "I'll try…"

    "Hopefully…"

     

    And replace them with these:

     

    "I absolutely agree…"

    "You will surely be able to… in no time"

    "I will make sure things get sorted…"

    "We will definitely…"

     

    ·         We know how difficult it is for a tech support agent to ask a customer to do something without sounding superior and demanding. That’s why we believe that replacing phrases like :

     

    "You must..."

    "You should..."

    "We must ask you to..."

    "We insist you..."

     

    With these:

     

    "I would recommend that you…"

    "All you need to do is…"

    "To avoid similar inconvenience in the future I suggest that you…"

    "One option open to you is…"

     

    ·         You might think the tricky part is over, but not quite. After a customer's issue gets resolved and they thank you, saying "no problem" might be the worst way to end an excellent interaction. Mostly because it implies that the customer's call in the first place was a "problem" or an inconvenience. Replace that tragic phrase with "you're welcome" or "it was my pleasure" instead. Tricia Morris, Senior Product Marketing Manager at Microsoft Parature, believes that giving thanks to the customer at the end of the interaction for bringing their issue to your attention can go a long way, as it shows the customer that the matter will be brought up for improvement.

     

    If you have any examples on positive words or phrases in mind, share them with us in the comments section below.