Words matter, especially when it comes to providing quality customer support. There are more ways than ever for people to connect with companies, with live chat, texting, and social media becoming popular and effective ways to reach out. Yet we know that the phone is still a key channel for contact centers, meaning that voice interactions are crucial for building good customer relationships. But since these exchanges are all spoken, so there’s no easy way to track or measure them, right? Think again.

Figures of speech

Voxbone recently launched Speech Analytics to give businesses access to high-quality recordings with speedy but accurate voice analysis. There are loads of potential benefits to tracking and measuring what’s said between your company and the consumer. For example, Speech Analytics is a great way to monitor and improve customer service. By logging and tracking spoken interactions between your agents and customers, you’ll be able to identify which phrases are most successful–and which aren’t.

In this post, I’ll focus on five phrases you can track and help your representatives improve on (unless you want unhappy customers!). I’ll also suggest some alternative phrasing that can help inspire customer loyalty and build better relationships, which you can use speech analytics to look for, too. Here we go.

1) “Sorry, it’s policy.”


We get this one from help desk software company Groove as a phrase to avoid. It’s really a two-parter. A “sorry” really isn’t helpful without an explanation, and the same goes for “It’s policy.” Of course your company has policies in place for a reason. But rather than hammer home what a customer can’t do, focus on what they can.

Instead of a curt “sorry,” why not try, “I understand your frustration with this issue.” Rather than quote company policy as being a roadblock, your agent could say, “While there are some restrictions, I’ll do what I can to help with your situation.”

2) “We can’t do that right now. But we’ll be able to soon.”


If your company is in tech, this may be tempting to say. You know whether the features or options the customer is asking for are in production. The thing is, though, that it really doesn’t help them at the time of the call.

According to the blog Customer Experience Insight, saying this doesn’t do much more than tease the customer. And they might not stick around long enough to see those updates in action. So take a proactive approach and let them know what they can do now.

3) “As I said/mentioned/explained before…”


This one can really get tempers flaring. It sounds passive aggressive and comes across as if the customer is not listening or understanding and wasting your time. As innocent as this phrase might seem, there’s an alternative way to say pretty much the same thing.

“Just let me know if I’m repeating myself,” is something an agent can say if they’re giving the same information more than once. It gives the customer the opportunity to say whether they already understand or if they need further clarification. And it won’t ruffle any feathers.

4) “I don’t have a record of that.”


Cue the awkward silence. According to Hubspot, this is one of many deadly phrases that can hurt relationships with customers. The key is in the follow-up questions that can turn a dead end into a solution.

“Is it possible you used a different name for this account? Let’s see if we can find the information you’re looking for.” While your agent is looking for information, keep the customer engaged: “Is there anything I can answer or help with while I look for your account?”

5) “We won’t be able to answer your question. You’ll need to speak to a representative from another department.”


Last but not least, the phrase voted “most cringe-worthy” by respondents to an American Express survey is one that asks you to call another number once you’ve waited to speak to a representative. While the call transfer might be unavoidable, the language your agents use are important.

So try “Unfortunately I can’t answer this one on my own. Can I connect with someone from department ‘X’ who can help solve this issue for you?” Having a good customer service platform that allows you to easily transfer calls doesn’t hurt, either.

Once you know the problem phrases, you can use speech analytics to identify and track them. Better voice metrics can mean better business processes, not only in customer service but in sales and even in team meetings. Why not visit Voxbone’s Speech Analytics page to learn more and even give our new service a spin.