Customer Service Tips: Magic Phrases

When it comes to customer service, we think of clients, vendors, and community partners. We skip over internal customers such as colleagues, supervisors, and supervisees. Both are crucial to respectful, productive, inclusive workplace cultures.

Too often, we feel thrown under that proverbial blame bus by a colleague or customer. Too often we pass the buck and are quick to shift the responsibility to others. We can do better.

Customer service is simple, not easy. Internal and external customer service failures are inevitable and a great opportunity to create trust. Some magic phrases, said sincerely, are key. A sarcastic tone, eye roll, or impatient gesture cancel the magic.


 Magic Phrases

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Gold is a Very Rich Color: A customer service story about accountability

When we first came to this country as refugees from Cuba, my parents set about creating a new life for the four Gurri kids. This included buying a television.

My dad, who loved America, the pope, and Sears, headed to his favorite department store. We walked in to discover that there were no “TV experts” on the sales floor. As we turned to leave, a young employee in an ill-fitting suit hurriedly stepped up.

“How may I help you?,” asked Mr. Spiro.

Knowing nothing about electronics, Mr. Spiro couldn’t answer Dad’s questions. But with hoped-for authority, Mr. Spiro pointed to a big gold TV console in the sale section and said, “Gold is a very rich color!”

Amused and moved by his passion to be of service, my father bought a TV. No, it wasn’t the gold one.

Our family still quotes the earnest Mr. Spiro as a rallying call to be our best. In times of service failure in any department, customer service excellence strengthens customers, teamwork, and organizations.

What would you do?

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Customer Service Tips for Excellence

Everyone is your customer: clients, vendors, and colleagues. Workplace satisfaction improves when we extend respect to internal customers – colleagues and supervisors.

How do you do this? The answer is customer service excellence. Two communication strategies from the TopLine Patient Experience training help us deal with even the most frustrating internal customers: Empathy and Heart-Head-Heart Communication™.

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