Top 5 Phrases that Deflect Communication

Top 5 Phrases that Deflect Communication

A recent survey was conducted to determine the most common phrases that are plain and simply, conversation deflectors. Used most often in places of business, the phrases are used-often and can kill a conversation, almost as quickly as it starts. We will be discussing these top five phrases, as well as give you some suggestions to replace these common conversation killers.

1) “Yes, but…”: The term “but” instantly puts up people’s natural defense system. Hearing the term, “but”, means that something they do not want to hear is going to follow. Instead of using, “Yes, but,” in your conversation, replace it, with “Yes, we can do that for you. However, we are required to add an additional fee.” Yes, and however, replace the negative but, and in turn show your client’s that you are able to do something for them, but there is still a company policy that you are obligated to follow.

2) “No problem,”: While this is a commonly used phrase in our society, to different generations this can cause quite a stir. The phrase “no problem”, can leave a person assuming that the issue or concern they had brought to your attention was in turn a “problem”. Leave this one out of your business dialogue, our client’s are not our “problems”, and we are there to ensure them the best move possible. Replace the phrase instead with, “my pleasure”, “I’ll be happy to assist/help you”, “you are very welcome”, all of these are much warmer phrases that will help your clients feel appreciated instead of a burden.

3) “Calm down,”: This is quite possibly one of the worst things you can say to a person who is dealing with an issue, concern, or crisis. Almost instantaneously you will hear their response come back to you as, “don’t tell me to calm down!” and their anger will now be even more directed at you, than it was prior. Instead of taking their anger personally, replace “calm down”, with empathy, “I understand this must be difficult for you. Let me assist you in any way I can.” This response shows your client’s that you are working for them, and in no way against them.

4)“Our computers are so slow,”: First and foremost, when a customer hears you complaining about anything regarding the company, they hear you complaining about the company. That is not a good perception for them on their end. Replace your complaints, even if your computer really is working slow, with an apology about the delay, and ask them a question to redirect their attention and buy your computer some time.

5)“That’s not our policy,”: This is a common phrase used, because all companies have policies, and for very certain and particular reasons. Policies are set in motion for the benefits of both our clients, and our businesses, but oftentimes, customers just don’t care about these policies, they want things done their way. To keep all parties happy in regards to policies, replace the phrase “that’s not our policy,” with “Allow me to see what I can do. Generally, our company policy does not allow (repeat their request back to them), but we can certainly do something to resolve this.” Even if your client does not entirely get their way, they at least see that you did everything within your power, as well as your companies policy, to assist them.

In using some of the most common phrases in businesses which are actually harming your communication lines with your clients, and in turn replacing them with dialogue phrases that open and repair broken communication lines; you can rebuild, as well as strengthen your relationships with your customers.