You’ve heard it a thousand times: “The customer is always right!”
While this is true in nearly every business, it’s essential for home service companies, contractors, and technicians. If the experience is a good one, they are likely to hire you again and tell their networks about your services.
However, if you fail at great customer service, your revenue will too.
The things is it only takes a few words or phrases to make all your efforts go down the drain. Ensure that all your field service technicians and staff are trained in what to say, as well as what not to say.
Here are five phrases that are guaranteed to kill a good business relationship and some suggestions on what you could say instead.
1. “I can’t help with that.”
Many times protocol and company policies restrict service staff and technicians from making immediate decisions. Even the most seasoned professionals often use this comeback, as a way to displace the responsibility or issue.
If you as senior management can do everything in your power to reduce any restrictive policies, it’s a good first step. Then train them on what to say on a case to case basis. A simple, “I understand why you’d ask for that” reply helps the client feel heard and valued.
2. “I’m sorry.”
This can be considered a “catch-all phrase, often used in the industry—again, to move the blame and responsibility of the issue elsewhere.
But service professionals shouldn’t be afraid to find more creative ways to deal with the situation. How about, “I will check into this matter for you immediately,” or, “I’ll have to look that up; thank you for your patience while we find a solution.”
Customers will appreciate the fact that you are trying to gain more clarity on the situation, a greater perspective, and that you value their time.
3. “Please hold.”
If you have ever been on the other end of this phrase, then you know how frustrating and annoying it is to hear! Nobody wants to be put on hold—ever!
Good customer service technicians never assume that a homeowner has the time to be on hold. A better approach is asking: “I need to look into this matter further, would it be okay to put you on hold? It should only take a couple of minutes.
This reply can be seen as downright rude, so it’s best to avoid it altogether. Remember, the way you speak, along with your tone are essential in customer service, and you always want to put your best foot forward.
Instead of jumping to a “nope” or “no” reply, try something like: “Unfortunately, that’s not something we can do. However, what we can do is…”
Another thing to note: a Software Advice survey showed that 65% of online customers preferred a casual tone, but not too casual. 78% of respondents also said that slang words and emoticons in communications would affect them negatively, so it’s probably to stay away from those.
5. “Just calm down, okay?”
In Seth Godin’s one-line blog post on customer service, he noted the simplest customer service frustration question of all: “Why isn’t this as important to you as it is to me?”
He is absolutely right. You must give your customer the impression that you “get” them; that you understand why they are emotional about the situation, and finding a solution is at the top of your priorities.
Unless the customer themselves is being rude and mean and even so, exert kindness. Here’s a good alternative: “I’m terribly sorry about that! I can imagine how frustrating this must have been for you to have this break down at a crucial time.”
Field service customers can sometimes be hard to deal with, but brushing up on your communication skills, learning best practices and customer conflict tips, and employing the right words to use will make a big difference in your reputation with customers.
Want to see more killer words to avoid? Check out our guest post on CraftJack >>
Ready to see your sales soar and revenue too?
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Last modified: September 21, 2018