Adapted for teenage micro business owners from:
Negative Customer Service Phrases to Avoid
By Shari Waters, for About.com
Shari has a great list of 15 things to never say to a customer. Most apply to a retail business, like a store in a mall, so I pared down her list to those that most apply to teenage micro business owners.
1. I Don’t Know
Customers don’t expect retailers to know everything, but when it comes to answering a product question or other inquiry, they do expect the salesperson to be confident enough in their knowledge of the business to provide an answer.
Better: “That’s a good question. Let me find out for you.”
3. Calm Down
There may not be a more infuriating phrase in customer service than this one. If a customer has reached a boiling point and is ranting away, the best thing to say is nothing. Let the customer finish. Once he or she has gotten everything out, they will begin to feel better and may be more receptive to a solution.
Better: “I apologize.”
8. I Can’t Do That
This is another negative customer service phrase that should be banned from all store staff.
Better: “What I can do is ___.”
14. I’m Busy Right Now
Have you ever said, or heard, the following? “If it weren’t for customers, I could get some work done.” If you are in retail, chances are you’ve at least thought it. The truth is, without customers retailers wouldn’t have a job.
Better: “I’d be happy to help you.”
My book, Running a Micro Business, has more tips on serving your customers.
Carol Topp, CPA is the author of the Micro Business for Teens