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The True Meanings Behind Popular Customer Service Sayings
Let's Get Real
I've been working in customer service for more years than I care to admit. Every now and then, I am lucky enough to get some type of break from it and only work at a desk in a corner for a while. Then, for reasons unknown (I plead temporary insanity), I somehow end up back in customer service either full-time or part-time in some way.
Since I've had so many years of experience working in customer service and I have also been a customer at many places pretty much my entire life, I think I've got some things figured out. I've been able to interpret the true meanings behind many popular customer service phrases.
Yes, there are customer service phrases we all hear over and over again. How many times do we really stop to appreciate their true meanings? We probably don't even think about it that much. A customer service worker just throws out a compliment or an apology or whatever, and we just take it. It helps keep our society going.
Well, I am here to sit the record straight. I want to uncover the dark, secret meanings behind each and every customer service statement you've grown accustomed to hearing. Let's not hide behind these fake phrases anymore. Let's get real.
Let's Translate Some Common Customer Service Phrases:
Phrase: "Welcome to the House of Rodents! We sell hamster wheels, rodent toys, and so much more. Would you like to hear about our sale on rat chew toys?"
Real Meaning: "Kill me now... if I have to give this speech one more time, I am going to snap."
Phrase: "Good morning. How are you today?"
Real Meaning: "Please don't tell me how you are really feeling today. Let us both pretend life is good and we can all move on."
Phrase: "I am sorry you feel that way."
Real Meaning: "I totally disagree with you, but please stop yelling at me."
Phrase: "Let me get my manager."
Real Meaning: "I totally can't deal with you anymore."
Phrase: "What can I help you find today?"
Real Meaning: "Please don't ask for anything too weird," or, if working on commission, "Please ask for something really expensive."
Phrase: "Please give me more details."
Real Meaning: "I don't understand one thing you've just said to me."
Phrase: "Wow, really? That is so interesting."
Real Meaning: "You are the ninth person who's said that today. I am so tired of faking an interest in this unoriginal comment."
Phrase: "Have you been on our website yet?"
Real Meaning: "What would take me 10 minutes to explain is easily found on our site."
Phrase: "Did you read the instructions that came with the product?"
Real Meaning: "Clearly you did not read the instructions. What is wrong with you?"
Phrase: "You got our product to do what?"
Real Meaning: "Are you kidding me? Let me put this on speaker phone..."
Phrase: "Could you please hold a moment?"
Real Meaning: "You don't have any choice. I am putting you on hold."
Phrase: "Where did you hear about this offer?"
Real Meaning: "I have no idea what you're talking about, but I'll bet you're right."
Phrase: "Can you fax or email me proof of that?"
Real Meaning: "I have no idea what you've talking about, but I think you are making stuff up."
Phrase: "Sure you can contact our corporate office. I'll give you the number."
Real Meaning: "Good luck with that. Corporate doesn't care about you or me."
Phrase: "We no longer carry that item."
Real Meaning: "We haven't sold that in years. Welcome to this century."
Phrase: "We don't have that in stock right now."
Real Meaning: "I just can't find it and I don't have time to dig through the nightmare that is our stockroom."
Phrase: "You are speaking to the manager."
Real Meaning: "Don't push me. You aren't going to get far."
Phrase: "Sure, you can talk to the district manager. I'll give you her contact information."
Real Meaning: "We don't even know the district manager; we are not even sure she exists. Let us know how it turns out."
Phrase: "Can I interest you in adding a scarf to your purchase? How about a pair of gloves that would match that coat? Were you interested in receiving coupons? May I take these bags out to the car for you?"
Real Meaning: "I think you are a Secret Shopper and I am trying to get a perfect score."
Phrase: "Would you like to put this on your store card today?"
Real Meaning: "I get a bonus everytime you open an account with us."
Phrase: "Please let me transfer your call."
Real Meaning: "I simply can't take it anymore. Let's see if Betty can tolerate you."
Phrase: "For further clarification, please contact Bill at 999-999-9999."
Real Meaning: "You are asking too many questions and Bill owes me one."
Phrase: "So how is the weather there today?"
Real Meaning: "I can't get my computer to work, but I am pretending everything is OK and killing some time with small talk."
Phrase: "I am having technical difficulties."
Real Meaning: "My computer is totally junk and you'll be lucky if I can complete this transaction."
Phrase: "Please let me know if you have any further questions."
Real Meaning: "Please don't have any further questions. I have 10 more customers that need assistance right now."
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