Use these 9 phrases to increase customer advocacy

Sara Yonker

May 2, 2022

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Coach your call center agents to use these statements to increase customer advocacy

When you talk to a customer, you want to choose every word with care. Customer service agents may not always have the power to fix a customer service problem. Yet, the way they communicate determines if a customer hangs up in a fury or calmly agrees to wait for the solution.

How do you create better, happier customer interactions every time? At Tethr, we’ve analyzed millions of customer conversations. It’s given us the key to unlocking the right words to say and when to say them.

The right words have one thing in common: They show customers that the person they’re talking to will take an active role in understanding and resolving the issue. We call this attitude customer advocacy. It separates successful customer service experiences from those that turn into viral rants or canceled accounts. The right advocacy language can even help you sell more

What is customer advocacy?

Customer advocacy can refer to two different, similar ideas.

From a customer service or sales perspective, customer advocacy refers to agents who act as advocates for the customers. An agent who displays this behavior shows empathy, delivers quality customer service, and improves customer experiences.

Customer advocacy programs, however, refer to marketing tactics that transform happy customers into brand advocates who use word of mouth to refer new customers, leave positive reviews, or otherwise promote your product or service.

Although these are different aspects of customer service, it's important to start with customer advocacy behavior. Agents acting as customer advocates will lead to higher customer satisfaction – which you’ll need before you launch a customer advocacy program.

What are customer advocacy statements?

If you want customer success representatives to start responding with advocacy, it can help to provide them with practical tips on how to do that.

After all, call center agents know it’s their job to work out problems for customers. However, when dealing with a difficult customer, sometimes having specific key phrases to use can make implementing that corporate “customers first” goal easier.

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Empathy statements

Customer service agents likely know they should also respond with empathy, especially when customers have bad experiences. The use of certain empathetic statements can help form a connection and leave a customer feeling calm instead of irritated. However, empathy statements differ from advocacy because they don't take an active role in solving the problem.  In Tethr's platform, we classify these statements as "acknowledgment" and find that sometimes, they can create more effort for a customer, not less.

Examples of empathy statements:

“I understand”

“I’m sorry”

“I would feel the same way”

“Thank you for your patience”

Any of these statements can  assure a customer you hear them, that you will work to solve their problem, and that you understand their problem.  Many agents use empathy statements naturally.

Using advocacy statements may not come naturally, even for agents who do work hard to solve issues for customers. That's why it's important to use the right language.

Customer advocacy statements to use:

“Let me look at your account right now”

Instead of asking for an account number without emotion, coach  call center agents to emphasize the action they take. It provides a transition while the agent actually does this, and helps the customer know that the agent is on their side.

“I will check what I can do”

If an agent isn’t sure if they can fix the problem, that doesn’t mean they shouldn’t still tell the customer that they are working to solve it. By narrating each step they take - even if it is just checking on options - the customer knows they’re not left to deal with problems on their own.

“We can resolve this”

As soon as an agent knows they can resolve an issue, they should say so. This statement can immediately calm down an unhappy customer, even if the steps to get the issue resolves end up taking a few steps.

”I can assure you that…”

While some cases might have uncertain outcomes, try to emphasize the positive, known outcomes.

“I can provide more information to you”

When your agents dig through a complex issue, encourage them to narrate their discovery as it happens. Agents will increase the likelihood of closing cases during the first call if they provide (and verify) customers information and ask probing questions about it.

“I can help you with that”

When you know what action needs to happen, tell customers that you can help them

“I’ll make sure this gets resolved”

Here’s a promise you don’t want to make unless you can deliver. However, when you can assure that you can resolve a customer’s concern, make sure that they know.

“I will do that

It helps to repeat back to the customer what you plan to do, especially if it’s something they requested.

“What I can do is....”

When you can’t fix it all, focus on anything you can do to make the situation better. In nearly every circumstance, you can do something. Tell them how you will tag the case for follow-up, fix part of the problem, or offer the customer something to reduce their concerns.

Call center agent coaching

When customers reach an agent that acts like an advocate for them, they’re more likely to leave the interaction satisfied with agent performance and believing the company provided good customer service.

Encouraging your agents to use customer advocacy can help, but measuring its use can turn intentions into actions.

Tethr uses AI-powered speech analytics to measure how much advocacy language agents use in each interaction. Our dashboards deliver scores for you based on individual agent performance and the company as a whole.

Based on the unique metrics from your calls, you’ll be able to coach your agents on what behaviors they need to increase. We provide your team playbooks to solve whatever problem you face, with practical tips on how each agent can increase advocacy language.

Ready to see how it works? Request a demo now.  

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