Service Team - avoid these phrases for good customer service.

5 Phrases to Avoid in Customer Service

Customer service is an integral part of any business, and one of the most important aspects of customer service is how we choose to phrase ourselves. Every word we choose to use can have a big impact on our guests’ overall experience. Therefore, it’s important to be mindful of the phrases we use when dealing with conflict or upset guests.

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In this blog post, we’ll be discussing 5 phrases to avoid in customer service jobs or hospitality when facing difficult situations. Avoiding these phrases can help you ensure that you’re providing positive word choices in negative situations, while also getting the best intended feeling from your guests.

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Phrases to Avoid in Customer Service ❌ It’s our policy


When dealing with upset or frustrated guests, using the phrase “It’s our policy” can be seen as an easy way out. While it is important to remain within the rules and regulations of your organization, there are better ways to address customers who are unhappy with a policy.

Instead of saying “It’s our policy” try explaining why the policy exists in the first place.

Show empathy and express understanding. Explain that this is something that must be followed and help the guest to find an alternative solution.

When speaking with guests, it is important to avoid alienating them. Even if a policy cannot be changed, explain it in a friendly and understanding manner. Make sure to emphasize that their experience is important and that you would like to do everything possible to make it positive.

When all else fails, offer a gesture of appreciation for their loyalty and patience. This will help create a positive experience for both parties and keep the customer feeling valued and respected.


Phrases to Avoid in Customer Service ❌ I’m sorry, but…


This phrase is often used in customer service or hospitality to apologize for something that cannot be changed, such as a policy or lack of availability. While the intention of this phrase may be well-meaning, it can come off as dismissive and unhelpful. When guests are already upset about something, this phrase can feel like a non-solution and leave them feeling unheard.

Instead of this phrase, try to phrase the apology in a way that shows understanding and empathy.

For example, instead of saying “I’m sorry, but…” you could say “I understand your frustration with this situation and apologize that I am not able to help in the way you wanted. Is there anything else I can do for you?”

This phrase conveys a sense of understanding and opens up a dialogue between the guest and the employee which can help lead to a resolution.

By avoiding phrases such as “I’m sorry, but…” and replacing them with understanding and helpful language, customer service or hospitality employees can better serve their guests and create a positive experience.

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Phrases to Avoid in Customer Service ❌ We’re all out of…


No one likes being told that something they want is not available. When faced with a situation in customer service or hospitality where a guest cannot get what they want, it is important to phrase the situation in a way that preserves their sense of satisfaction.

For instance, instead of saying “we’re all out of” a particular product or menu item, try saying something like “I’m afraid that item isn’t available right now, but I can offer you…” followed by an alternative. This phrasing keeps the focus on what is available, rather than on what isn’t, and makes the guest feel as though their needs are being met, even if not in the exact way they wanted.

When dealing with customers, it is important to make sure you come across as understanding and accommodating to their needs. Saying something like “we’re all out of” implies a lack of availability, when the reality may be that the item is simply unavailable at that moment. Instead, explain the situation in a more positive light, and your guests will be much more likely to leave feeling satisfied with their experience.

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❌That’ll be extra


This phrase should be avoided in customer service based jobs or in hospitality when dealing with a conflict or upset guest. Using this phrase can come off as insensitive and unhelpful, especially when someone is already unhappy. Instead of saying “that’ll be extra”, try phrasing it differently such as “I understand that this wasn’t what you expected and I apologize for the inconvenience. Unfortunately, this will require an additional fee.” It’s important to emphasize that you understand the issue, express your apology, and make sure the customer feels heard and taken care of.


Phrases to Avoid in Customer Service ❌ I don’t know


When dealing with a customer service or hospitality situation, one of the most important phrases to avoid is “I don’t know.” Even though this phrase is sometimes difficult to avoid, it is important to avoid it because it can create feelings of frustration and disappointment in customers. Instead of telling customers that you don’t know something, try to offer an alternative or find out what they need. You can also offer to look into the issue or provide more information.

When faced with a problem or question, customers don’t want to be told that you don’t know the answer. Even if you don’t have an immediate solution, make sure that you are being proactive in helping them solve their problem. Let them know that you will do your best to figure out the answer, so that they don’t feel like their time is being wasted.

If there is a complex problem and you really don’t know the answer, tell the customer that you need to get additional help from someone who does have more knowledge on the topic. This will show them that you are willing to go the extra mile for them and that you are taking their request seriously.

Overall, when it comes to customer service and hospitality jobs, it is important to avoid saying “I don’t know” whenever possible. Showing customers that you care about their needs and concerns will go a long way towards building strong customer relationships.

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How Learn Laugh Speak Can Help!

At Learn Laugh Speak, we provide personalized courses for each student to ensure that they are provided with the necessary knowledge to handle difficult customer service situations. Our custom journey program allows students to be tested and placed into their specific level, so they can easily learn the basics and more complex information tailored to their needs.

With our help, students can learn exactly what they need to know in order to excel in customer service. We provide resources, such as online courses, practice tests, and one-on-one coaching to help our students become knowledgeable on handling all kinds of customer service situations, while providing positive word choices in negative situations.

With Learn Laugh Speak, you can be sure that you are provided with all the tools you need to handle any difficult customer service situation!


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3 thoughts on “5 Phrases to Avoid in Customer Service

  1. Pingback: The Art of Confrontation: Turning a Negative into a Positive

  2. Pingback: Guests Aren’t Mind Readers: The Importance of Following Up Politely

  3. Pingback: The English Student’s Guide to Turning a Negative Customer Service Situation Into a Positive One

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