Five Phrases Call Center Agents should avoid at all costs!

Working in a call center can be very tricky. A small, tiny mistake in communication can trigger a very angry customer, which could, potentially, escalate into your worst nightmare, as we are dealing with people. It is very important to be extremely careful with your words.

Call Center Agents

There are well-documented rules as to how an agent should deal with a customer over the phone, but that just covers the basics. Anything can happen over the phone, and you just have to be ready as every situation is different and sometimes you have to think quick if something unexpected occurs.

One thing to think about is that customers calling a business typically have their own set of unwritten "rules" they assume all companies must follow.

Some words may instantly displease or anger a customer, but it is still the agents job to remain polite and professional at all times.

That being said, here are 5 phrases call center reps should avoid saying at all costs:

"I don't know": In the customers mind, it's your job to know everything, and if you don't, they will either become very nervous and hesitant of the company as a whole (they may think they don't train their employees enough) or cause them to get angry. If you do not have the answer, it will be your job to find it as soon as possible and provide them some type of answer. Also it is important to make sure you do not sound nervous over the phone. Keep your tone normal and confident in such a situation.

"I can't help you"Never ever say you cannot assist them and expect that to be the end of the call. "I can't help you" or "we don't deal with that" will instantly trigger the customer. If you cannot help them, or transfer them to someone else who may be able to assist them, you must find words or phrases to go about this in a very polite manner if there is actually nothing more you can do to help them. Cutting them off abruptly will definitely cause the customer to become aggravated.

"This is our policy": Not the best thing to say if you think that's what may cut the conversation short. They don't care, and hearing you say that will trigger them.

"Calm down Sir/Ma'am" - It can be tempting sometimes, but just don't! Imagine if you were in the customers place and were told this. You would get even angrier!

"Saying Nothing" - Nothing is more frustrating than a call center agent who gets so dumbfounded they can't think of anything to say at all. If you don't know the answer, at least engage in a little friendly talk, or ask questions so you can jot down notes as you quickly research the answer.


It can be very stressful to figure out on the spot what to say to a customer. However, with a little patience and an alert mind you can make successful conversations with even the most difficult customers! Attempting to diffuse the situation before it gets out of hand not only shows good professional skills but also helps with personal growth. Here, at (v)WeCare, we train provide our call center services with special emphasis on training all our employees, companywide, on behaviour, how to conduct themselves and exhibiting empathy towards everyone from a client to a colleague. We train each and every one of our call center reps with in-depth training constantly so that they can handle each call with confidence and clarity. This is what sets our call center outsourcing services apart from the rest and why our reps love working for Vcare.