Three Common Phrases to Avoid as a CSR

Tracy Robinson
Contributing Writer

Here are three phrases you should avoid as a customer service representative in a residential service company in order to provide your customers with the best experience possible:

“I can’t…”

Please do not tell a customer or patron what you can’t do for them. Focus on what you can do to help the situation. Offer options to your customers. Be the solution to their problem, not another road block or hurdle.


AVOID—“Mrs. Customer, I can’t tell you what time our technician will be at your home.”

USE—“Mrs. Customer, our technicians are extremely thorough and pride themselves on taking excellent care of our customers; sometimes this may take a bit longer than initially expected. I can keep you updated on our technician’s progress until he is available to come to your home and address your concerns. Is 555-1234 the best number for us to reach you on? Great! I can definitely keep you informed as to the progress being made, and his expected arrival.”

“This is how we do it.”

Please do not tell customers how “we” do things or what “we” do is. Customers do not want to hear that they are just another number, they want to feel special. They want to be included in the process. The phrase, “This is how we do it,” excludes the customer from the decision-making process and puts them on the defense. They want to know that you are concerned about the individual you are talking to and about their personal situation. Invite the customer into your world, create an experience and let them be a part of it.


AVOID—“Mrs. Customer, what we do is we send out a technician and we do XYZ, and then we do this, and then we do that.”

USE—“Mrs. Customer, might I share with you what you can expect when a technician arrives at your home today to service your XYZ? He will do a thorough evaluation of your XYZ Mrs. Customer, and then he will then discuss with you all of your options, providing you upfront pricing, in writing, so that you can make the best decision for you and your family.”

“You need to…”

Customers do not want to be told what to do. Frankly, not many people like to be ordered around or have someone demand anything from them. They would prefer to be informed or have us inquire about their preferences. Customers would expect us to ask about their needs and wants instead of telling them what they need.

AVOID—“You need to speak with someone in billing or our sales department.”

USE—“Mrs. Customer, I want to help you get this resolved. Let’s speak with our billing department, as I believe that they will truly be able to best help us in regards to your account inquiry. Let me get Mrs. Jones on the phone so that we can resolve XYZ.”

One Comment

Add a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *