Change your words. Change your world.

Exactly What NOT to Say When a Customer Has a Complaint

Your customer service is worth more than your product or the service that you’re selling.

Because you can’t guarantee that everybody is going to like what you have to offer but you can guarantee that everybody who brings you a problem to fix will inevitably fall in love with your business or brand – if you handle it right.

The secret is in how you turn an unhappy and dissatisfied customer into somebody that’s going to sing your praises on social media and tell their friends and family what a first-class business you are!

How Do You Please Unhappy Customers?

How you do this is by seeking expert advice from renowned business strategist Jay Baer.

Jay Baer is a New York Times Best-Selling Author of six books and Founder of Convince & Convert, a digital strategy consulting firm that helps leading companies gain and keep more customers.

Jay’s Convince & Convert Media division runs the world’s number 1 content marketing blog and Jay’s also been a business advisor to more than 700 companies since 1994. These include Caterpillar, Nike, The United Nations, and 36 of the FORTUNE 500.

Jay Baer has a lot to say when it comes to customer service and he’s keen to share his expertise with anyone that values customer experience as being one of the most important strategies for business success.

Why Is Customer Service So Crucial?

Companies are better at providing good customer service than ever before. This means that the customer has higher expectations than they did 3 years ago or even 12 months ago and the competition out there is strong.

If you don’t meet your customer’s expectations with customer service, they will be more than happy to take their money elsewhere.

A customer experience impact report from Harris Interactive revealed that 89% of consumers have switched to doing business with a competitor following a poor customer experience.

Losing the loyalty of your customers due to poor customer service is a blow that will not only dent your business’s reputation but also immediately affect your business’s bank balance.

This is emphasized by a study conducted by Harvard Business Review that states: “Increasing customer retention rates by 5% increases profits by 25% to 95%.”

Spending more money on keeping your customers happy is a lot cheaper than putting your efforts into getting new customers.

Your Customers Like The Personal Touch

Everybody wants to feel heard, seen, and valued.

When you have the opportunity to speak with your customers directly, you should be saying the right things to build trust and confidence in your relationship.

Anything that might make a customer feel like a number is sure to turn them off and send them elsewhere.

Jay Baer explains that one of the things you should never say to a customer who has a complaint is “Please contact our customer service department.”

This quickly frustrates customers and can give the wrong impression of your business. You should make sure that the first person the customer speaks to, is the one that puts in the leg work to resolve the issue. Not the customer.

“72% of consumers see having to explain their problem to multiple people as poor customer service”- Study by Dimensional Research.

Sharing Is Caring

Your customers really care about their customer experience. So what do they do when they either really like something or really don’t like something?

They tell someone. Multiple people in fact.

The average American tells 15 people when they’ve had a poor customer service experience. A lot of them go to social media to share the bad news too.

But it’s not all bad. According to Microsoft – ‘55% of people age 18-34 have praised a brand or its customer service via social media.’

Getting your customers talking about you to their friends and family is the best marketing tool there is. As long as they’re saying the right things.

So make sure you know exactly what to say or exactly not what to say when a customer has a complaint.

The 4 Words You Should Never Say To A Customer

With his years of experience and expertise in customer satisfaction, Jay Baer shares the 4 words that you should NEVER say to a customer who has a complaint.

Division, department, them, and they.

When you’re talking to a customer, always maintain a united front. To build trust and confidence, the customer must feel like your business is a cohesive, connective, finely tuned, cooperative machine. Or Team.

As soon as you say, “I can pass you on to another department” or “they will be better equipped to deal with your complaint”… you’re dissolving the illusion that your business is ‘one’ and that each customer holds a special relationship with the business owner.

Remember, customers want the personal touch and they expect to feel valued. 


Jay Baer

The world’s most inspirational customer experience, customer service, and marketing keynote speaker. New York Times best-selling author of six books. A 7th-generation entrepreneur. The founder of five, multi-million dollar companies. Certified tequila sommelier. Lover of all things plaid.

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