There are just some things that retail employees should never say to customers, especially during busy stressful holiday seasons. Most employees are trained to do their job, but not trained to effectively communicate with customers. If you, as a manager, want to keep the quality of your store high, you should instruct each of your employees on how they should handle customer inquiries. Here are just 10 phrases that should never leave a retail employee’s mouth.
1. I don’t know
This is the number one phrase that no customer wants to hear. The customer expects the employee to be knowledgeable about simple inquiries. Of course, the customer doesn’t expect the employee to know everything about the company, but the employee should be able to answer a pricing question or placement question.
2. Calm Down
Even if you believe a customer is out of place with his or her anger, it is never a good idea to tell them to calm down. Telling someone to calm down may only further anger him. It is better to just stay quiet and try to find a peaceful solution. The key thing to do in this situation is apologize.
3. Will that be all?
This is a question managers don’t want to hear employees ask. Always try to upsell a customer. Never ask them if they are done. Always try to suggest more products.
4. Right over there
Don’t tell a customer where something is; take them to where it is.
5. Not my department
Customers don’t care what your department is; they just want you to help them. Do so in a responsible manner that doesn’t infringe on your own job safety.
6. It’s against policy
Much like the last phrase, customers don’t care about fine print policies. They want solutions. This doesn’t mean you should break company policies, but there is a better way to let customers know how your company operates.
7. I’m new
Even if an employee is new, they usually think this is a great cop-out phrase. Employees should never avoid helping a customer. Even if they are unsure of themselves, they should strive to give the customer an answer.
8. I’m busy
Of course, employees are busy; they are at work. You still have to take time away from your task to help employees with their needs.
9. You’re wrong
Plain and simple, never tell this to customer. It is just blatantly disrespectful. Say something like, “I think there is a misunderstanding here.”
10. Hold on
Instead of telling a customer to hold on, try asking them if they could wait for a moment while you get them help.
Jennie is a customer service consultant and author. She recommends the VoC Text Analytics Suite from www.mshare.net to analyze your customer feedback and to significantly improve your business’s customer service.