Customer Service Blog

One word other than sorry, to calm unhappy customers

When things go wrong with customers or coworkers, consider the impact of using I language. When I do presentations for CEOs on how to respond to the media in a customer service crisis – such as a product recall or customers being injured – I explain the importance of starting sentences with the word I. I remind CEOs that in a crisis they need to immediately go the site themselves or talk directly to the people involved. Then when answering media questions, they should respond in the first person with, “I” as in, I talked with… or I viewed the damage. Using I language proves you’re fully involved in resolving the issue. Similarly, when you address a concern with an unhappy customer or co-worker, using I language (and actions) helps regain trust.

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