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Photo by Sarah Reido

We’re all about positivity at Ruby, and it’s not just because of our naturally friendly, upbeat staff we’ve learned that having happy receptionists leads to happy customers, and that’s just all-around good business! Our virtual receptionist team knows how important it is to skip negative phrases. A few little words can turn a good conversation into a great one, and replacing negative words with positive ones might be easier than you realize. Before you chat with your next customer or potential client, scrap these three phrases:

I don’t know. You may not have the answer to your customer’s question, but saying “I don’t know” gets you nowhere. Bypass “I don’t know” and move on to the next part: finding the answer, or putting your customer in touch with someone who does know.

“Great question! Diana in our Sales Department would be happy to answer it. Let me put you in touch with her.”

“That’s a good question! I’ll find the best person to answer it!”

I can’t (or we can’t). Okay, if someone asks you to bench press 500 pounds, “I can’t” may be a reasonable reply. But when it comes to customer service, these are two words to avoid. Maybe “I can’t” is the short answer to your customer’s question, but it’s far from a confidence booster. What can you do? Talk about that instead. If customer service is important to you, there’s always something you can do. Check this out:

“Can I pick up my computer tomorrow?”

“We’d like to keep it one more day to make sure it’s tip-top. We can have it ready for pickup first thing Wednesday morning, or we’d be happy to deliver it to you then!”

You’ll have to (or you need to). If you eliminate any three words from your conversational repertoire today, make them “You’ll have to.” This bossy phrase is a big customer service no-no. When you want to guide your customer in a different direction, trade “You’ll have to” in for softer reply-starters like “You might want to…” or “May I suggest…” or “It might be best to….” Better yet, offer to do the legwork for your customer, or at least lend a hand:

“It might be best to talk to your phone provider about the options available to you. I’d be happy to conference you in so we can call them together!”

Now that’s customer service!

Also, don’t forget to check out our 5 Positive Phrases You Should Steal!