Every company in our industry has had to make changes to their normal way of doing business. Some companies are flourishing, while others are facing more turbulent times. Why is that?

There are a lot of factors at play, but I believe that many companies that are thriving right now are changing the way their teams are speaking with their customers.

How many of the following words have you heard a lot of lately?

  • Crisis
  • Uncertain times
  • Infected
  • Pandemic
  • Turbulent
  • Unfortunately

Probably all of them; probably far more than you’d like. Maybe you’re even so sick of those words you stop listening to anyone using them. How do those words make you feel? Anxious, frightened, panicky, nervous, uncertain?

Me too. Did any of those words make you feel confident, happy, excited, reassured, or at ease?

Of course not. Your customers have been bombarded with negative words and news every day for the last 6-8 weeks. How must they feel?

In the call center, we’re trained to show empathy and put our customers’ minds at ease every single day. That’s what we do, and that’s how we book calls and take care of our customers. And now is the time we need to show the most empathy for our customers and reassure them. When we select the above- mentioned negative words to use with customers, we push them farther away from us and have a negative impact on their mindset.

We don’t need to use the negative-sounding words. What if I told you that you can replace them with a few words that elicit a positive response, and that doing so will help your business? Would you switch? The replacement words are simple:

  • Concern
  • Situation
  • Safety
  • Protect

These word choices are easy to switch out in your scripts; they convey that your company cares. They also still let customers know that your company is aware of the current situation and what’s going on in the world!

Have doubts? Try it. Read both of the following scripts to a coworker and ask what pops in their mind immediately during each:

Hi, Mr. Customer, this is Tracy with Nexstar Network. We’re reaching out to all our loyal customers during this COVID-19 crisis. We understand the pandemic that we are confronting is unprecedented and it’s forced us all to recognize these are perilous times. To avoid the spread of infection, we will be taking several proactive measures to insure we do not cause any illness to you or our employees. What we are doing is…

Does your coworker feel confident? Do they want to run away yet? Do they want to hold off on scheduling, or want to say “No, not now”?

What about this option?

Hi, Ms. Customer, this is Tracy with Nexstar Network. We’re reaching out to all our loyal customers to let them know that, given the current situation, we are focused on our employees’ and customers’ safety and security more than ever before. We have made a commitment to address any concerns that you may have. Here are a few of the proactive measures we’re taking to protect you, your family, and your home…

Better, right? Fewer negative feelings accompany the second script with the positive-sounding word choices.

Customers want to know that their service providers care about them. They’re only doing business with those they know, like, and trust right now. Having a call center team that can reassure your customers helps increase your chances of establishing and maintaining these valuable relationships. A team of trained, confident customer service employees will be able to convey that message properly to your customer base and help everyone feel better, as well as maintain your company’s bottom line.

Final note: Confidence starts from the top! If your employees are scared, uncertain, and skeptical of your leadership and ability to protect them, those feelings will inevitably transfer straight to your customer base. Take the time to be transparent as a leader and be the voice of reassurance and stability for your team.

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