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In-Depth Tips from Dr English

doceng3Dr English is the resident expert in language and communication training at Workplace English Training E-Platform (WETE). The informative and often in-depth articles below will help more advanced learners to understand and improve various aspects of their English, especially the English they need for work. You can read Dr English's tips on your PC, laptop or mobile device. These articles are only available for members of WETE. If you would like to subscribe and receive email notifications of future postings, please subscribe by clicking the Newsletter link above.

Six Step Strategy for Customer Service

27 Apr 2021

customer1. Listen Positively and Empathize

Don’t try to defend yourself or the company. Allow the customer to let off steam. Show understanding.

What seems to be the problem?

Can you elaborate?

Could you give me the details?

That must have been very irritating.

I understand how you must feel.

2. Admit the Mistake and Apologize

Don’t put the customer on the defensive or question his judgment. Admit mistakes immediately.

I really am sorry.

It seems something has gone wrong here.

There’s definitely a problem here we need to deal with.

I’m very sorry about this.

I must apologize on behalf of the company for this.

3. Accept Personal Responsibility

For customers, you are the company. They don’t care whose fault it is. You have to deal with it. If the problem can be dealt with only by someone higher in the hierarchy, stay with the customer until it is clear that the problem is being resolved.

I’ll make sure this is dealt with.

Let me see what I can do.

4. Act Immediately

Show customers that you are taking their complaints seriously.

I’ll get on to this right away.

Let me see what we can do to help you immediately.

I’ll deal with this straight away.

5. Offer Compensation (if possible)

Demonstrate your concern practically if you are able to. Often, the form of compensation is less important than the thought.

Please accept this to make up for some of the inconvenience.

Would you like a cup of coffee while you’re waiting?

6. Thank the Customer

We should be grateful for complaints. It’s one way we can find out how to improve our service. Remember, too, that it costs five times as much to gain a new customer as to keep an old one.

Thank you very much for bringing this to our attention.

Thank you. This will help us to improve our service in the future.


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