Customer Service Tips: Magic Phrases

When it comes to customer service, we think of clients, vendors, and community partners. We skip over internal customers such as colleagues, supervisors, and supervisees. Both are crucial to respectful, productive, inclusive workplace cultures.

Too often, we feel thrown under that proverbial blame bus by a colleague or customer. Too often we pass the buck and are quick to shift the responsibility to others. We can do better.

Customer service is simple, not easy. Internal and external customer service failures are inevitable and a great opportunity to create trust. Some magic phrases, said sincerely, are key. A sarcastic tone, eye roll, or impatient gesture cancel the magic.


 Magic Phrases

Mere mortals say: Customer service pros say:
1.       That’s not my department. How may I help you?
2.       That happened before my time. I will get an answer for you.
3.       I don’t know. I’ll get an update for you.
4.       She’s at lunch. She’s not available, how many I help you?
5.       There’s nothing more we can do. I’m sure we can find a solution.

In truth, one magic phrase addresses most internal and external customer service needs and builds sustainable relationships. “How may I help you?” Why not find a solution, make a call, offer water, and follow up to make sure the client has been served? When possible, it is best to find a solution, or update the client regarding the solution in progress, before sunset each day. Accountability across roles and departments is customer service gold. Each simple act of consideration builds your company’s brand.

Look forward to the next service failure. It’s your chance to shine!


Step Up. Make a Difference. Find this and other articles about customer service, conflict, ethics, and speaking skills business leaders and military families at Contact Dr Red Shoes, Margarita Gurri, PhD, CSP at +1-844-Dr-RedShoe (+1-844-377-3374) or

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