Weak expressions that call center agents must stop using

Weak expressions that call center agents must stop using

April 13, 2016


Agents who can articulate their messages clearly and confidently help establish trustworthiness and credibility.

Regardless of the customer service platform, call center agents must always sound confident. Customers are more likely to listen to brand representatives if they appear reliable, smart, and precise. Agents can do this by committing to improve their business communication skills continuously.


While there’s a need for agents to give off a warm, friendly vibe, this doesn’t mean they can compromise the clarity of their messages. Simple tweaks in sentence construction can make a huge difference in fostering understanding.
As part of their call center training, agents must know how to phrase their messages in the clearest, strongest way. They can start by familiarizing themselves with the words and phrases that may seem harmless at first but actually weaken their statements. Here are some of them.

1. Exaggerations


Using adjectives to describe a product or process is great. It helps the customer gain an accurate picture of what’s being discussed. However, using adjectives, especially in an exaggerated way, can put you in a sticky situation.

When you overuse adjectives, you gradually drain them of their meaning. Take a look at this example:

“We have a fantastic solution to your problem.”

The use of the term “fantastic” may mislead the customer’s perception. The call center agent sounds biased, and customers may end up expecting much more than you could offer. This ruins your reliability and dissuades customers from trusting you.

In such cases, it’s better to choose more accurate and concrete adjectives. These are some examples:

“We have a quick solution to your problem.”
“There’s an easy way to solve this.”


2. Long phrases


One of the pillars of effective communication is brevity and clarity. To make your messages easier to understand, use the fewest words possible without altering your intended meaning. This makes problem resolution much faster.

Here are some unnecessarily wordy phrases and their shorter equivalents:

at the present time now
for the reason that because
in order that for
in the process of while
along the lines of such as / like
as per our telephone conversation… as we discussed…
at your earliest convenience as soon as you can

There are many other long, commonly used phrases that can be reduced to one or two words, so make sure that your call center training module covers this subject.


3. Annoying fillers


Filler words such as “um,” “ah,” and “er” don’t add anything meaningful to a statement. Rather, they make the call center agent sound uncertain, and therefore, unreliable.

It can be hard to unlearn this habit. In the beginning, agents may need to use scripts or outlines to help them articulate their ideas confidently. However, if possible, agents must be able to form mental ideas first before speaking them. This will lessen hesitation or nervousness.


4. Awkward endings


We may all be guilty of this one, especially during spoken conversations. When we start a sentence and suddenly forget what we wanted to say, we often just end it awkwardly. Here are some examples of awkward endings:

“We’re trying our best to deliver your package as soon as possible, you know?”
“We’re having trouble because there’s been a problem in our servers, know what I mean?”
“This software works by automating all your computations, finalizing the inputs, and so on and so forth.”
“You can give us a call anytime, I guess.”

Effective communication is the key to building a brand that customers trust. If agents commit to enhancing their business communication skills continuously, they’ll be well-equipped to deliver the kind of service that customers deserve.

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