7 Things Not to Say As A Customer Support Agent

By Susan Saurel

November 11, 2019   •   Fact checked by Dumb Little Man

things not to say as a customer support agent

Customer service is an integral part of any business or company. It has the power to make or break the image of an organization. Having this in mind, it is imperative to make sure that your agents are always aware of the things not to say as a customer support agent.

Here’s a list to guide you and your employees.

Listen to what I am saying.

This shows how impatient and intolerant you are and paints the company awfully. Remember, as a customer service agent, you are the mirror on which the company’s light bounces on. So, how you treat every single client reflects what the company’s morals and ideologies are.

The phrase “listen to what am saying” sounds like you are addressing a small child. It is outright disrespectful and offensive by all means. Often, it leads to an outburst of emotions from the customer which, in any case, makes everything worse. The aim is to make the client less nervous and such a statement will do the complete opposite.

Instead, you can use the phrase “let me explain this to you” as it will sound more composed and respectful. After that, you can clarify your ideas and make them sink politely in the customer. This is regardless of whether the communication is taking place through a phone call or even social media.

I can’t help you with that.

what not to say as a customer support agent

This must be the shoddiest way to respond to a customer’s grievance. It beats logic.

The reason you are answering calls on behalf of the company is that they trust that you can handle all the queries thrown at you with diligence.

This is a statement that can easily land a company in bad books, especially with an impatient client. It makes the customers feel like they have wasted their time calling for help when in real sense, there is no assistance rendered.

Customer service representatives need to offer help to clients, even if this means only listening and understanding their current predicaments. In case an agent is unable to tackle a complaint due to the technicality involved, the best thing to do is to refer the client to a professional within the company. First, you can admit that you are not an expert and then assure the client of assistance from the professional you will refer him or her to.

See Also: 5 Behaviors That Annoy Your Customers

That’s not so bad.

It doesn’t matter how simple a client’s claim may seem like. As a customer service agent, you can never belittle it.

For a customer to decide to call for help from customer service agents, he must believe that it is an ethical problem. In most cases, customers have tried to solve the issue on their own but to no avail. It is estimated that 70% of customers will not work with a company that doesn’t value them.

The easiest way to lose a client is to show them a lack of concern. This is the last thing a customer would want to experience from you. What seems to not be a problem for a customer service agent has caused unending troubles for a customer.

Most customer service agents tend to give this answer when they think that the problem a customer asks has a smooth and straightforward solution. If there’s an easy fix, that’s great, but the problem is that the client may not know of the solution.

You can start by telling the client that you understand the gravity of the problem before coming up with a reasonable solution.

I will let them know.

Using “them” to refer to the company you are working for shows that you don’t even belong there. A majority of the customer service agents tend to make this blunder unknowingly. When a customer calls in, he or she knows that you are part and parcel of the company. Therefore, you need to be part of the company, even in your responses. Rather than saying “I will tell them about it”, you can say “ We will deal with it accordingly”.

Being a part of the company in your statements portrays confidence. And the client will be confident in the company if a representative is equally confident. It also represents credibility to the customer as you need to have a positive image. Try as much as possible to use the word “we” in all your statements.

You shouldn’t have done that, so calm down.

The customers shouldn’t feel that the fault is theirs, even if in real sense it is. Before anyone calls the customer service desk, they are sure that their concern is not due to their own doing. However, if in any case they know that the fault is theirs, don’t insist on it.

The moment you place a customer on the spot is the moment they start to become impatient and nervous. In case you have ever heard of the phrase “the customer is always right”, then this is the exact situation where you apply it.

There are numerous cases when the client is on the wrong side. However, as a customer service agent, you should try as much as possible not to show them that they have a fault. Even if they are the ones that led to the issue you are tackling now, they shouldn’t be grilled or roasted because of it.

Instead of blaming and pointing fingers, mention where the fault is and give the most befitting solution. If the customer decides, in their discernment, to let you know that it is their doing, then so be it. But as a customer service agent, don’t let the claim come from you first.

If you must let the customer know that the fault is theirs for future purposes, then do so intelligently and with wisdom. For instance, you can say that “If the item were used under suitable conditions, then this problem would not have occurred.” This will sound better than sharply saying “You shouldn’t have destroyed the product.”

Customer service is all about managing the customer’s emotions and moods. Most clients tend to lose it on the phone due to sharp responses thrown at them or different allegations.

The other phrase that often breeds trouble is “calm down.” The last thing you want to be told when you are fed up and annoyed is to calm down. This sounds like someone doesn’t understand the position you are in and why you are even angry in the first place.

Have you ever tried adding oil to a hot pan?

If you haven’t, then saying the words “calm down” is almost equivalent to the reaction you will get. The best thing to do when you have angry clients is to let them speak and release all their emotions. This will help them calm down without you speaking out the words.

Also, as the customer vents out to you, continue encouraging him with words such as “I understand” and “Oh, I see.”

These words have the power to cool down the individual and bring them to your level. The truth is that a person can only speak for too long. Sooner or later, they will relax and let you talk. After all, they called because they want to hear from you after telling you their problems.

It doesn’t cost much to be patient and respectful as a client speaks to you. In essence, it even saves you from the agonizing arguments that can happen when you are rude and disrespectful.

I think you’re wrong about this.

thing not to say as a customer support agent

A customer is always right, okay?

Don’t spike a person’s anger using such a statement. Nobody wants to look like a fool, even if they don’t know a particular item. Telling customers that they are wrong about something may seem light to you, but not to them. The golden rule is never to question a customer’s perspective and mode of thinking.

In case a client is wrong, then the best thing to do is to first start by explaining the issue using facts and examples. Do it in the most respectful manner possible.

Also, try to be polite and avoid showing them that they are on the wrong. For example, “You have a point there, but I believe this issue needs to be handled this way…”

That’s the company’s policy.

This is an insincere and rude statement that is sugar-coated to sound different. It is equivalent to saying, “There’s nothing more we can do to help.”

It is more of closing the communication without a proper solution.

Instead, you can say that “our company guidelines state that…but we can help you in this way…” This sounds more comforting and reassuring to the customer.


Wrapping up, the above statements should act as a guide on the things not to say as a customer support agent. It doesn’t cost you a dime to be kind and respectful when speaking to a customer, but the benefits to accrue are plenty.

See Also: Don’t Make Them Wait: How to Improve Customer Response Time for Business

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