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8 Horrifying Phrases You Never Want To Hear In Your Call Center

Horrifying Phrases In Your Call Center

It’s Halloween time. We could talk about ghosts, witches, and nightmares. But, we want to talk about something scarier: horrifying phrases that you might have heard on the call center floor and that gave you goosebumps.

Phrases that totally ruin the customer experience. Can you guess some of these phrases? We suppose you can hear them like whispers in your mind right now.

Oh, but don’t worry. We will also give you the silver bullets for those werewolves: great phases that your call center agents can use instead. Ensure this is included in your training; you don’t want your call center to be like a haunted house for your customers.


Here are the Phrases you Don't Want to Hear in your Call Center


“Calm Down”

This makes our blood run cold. But our customers don’t feel the same when they hear it. The customer can feel angry sometimes because of the situation they are facing. They could feel stressed, hoping the agents can help them solve their issues. But, if the agent gives them the order to calm down, it will provoke more anger. That’s not what they want to hear. Instead, agents need to keep calm and let the customer know they will help them, that their problem will be solved, and suggest discussing the issue calmly.

Try this: “We can solve this problem for you. Let’s discuss what happened calmly.”


“I Don’t Know”

We don’t expect our agents to know everything. But saying “I don’t know” is horrible for our customers! Why? Because it kills the confidence the customer has in the agent (and the Company). They will no longer trust that the agent will resolve their issue and probably would want to talk to another agent or supervisor. Saying “I don’t know” is also perceived as “I don’t want to help you.” It’s easy to say it and might make you feel free of that responsibility, but that’s not what we want to hear. What agents should always do is find a solution and mention that they will research the issue to give the customers what they need.

Instead, say, “I do not have that answer right now, but I can certainly find out for you.”


“We Can’t Do That”

Again, agents cannot do everything the customers ask for. But surely, they can do something else. When agents say they cannot do something, the customer will feel more powerless and can be disappointed that the company cannot solve their problem. Agents must remember that what the customer is trying to ask them is a solution to their issue. They are not precisely requesting the agent to do a specific action. When the customer asks for something the agent cannot do, the agent needs to give other options to resolve the issue. Instead of saying you can’t do it, say what else you can do.

Put this into practice: “What I can do for you is…”


“You’re Wrong”

This is a scary one. We are sure you have heard that the customer is always right. Agents know this is not always true. But they should never mention this or insinuate it. Agents must never confront the customers. They should build trust and help the customer go on the right path. If a customer is not correct about something for some reason, agents should simply provide the proper solution for the customer.

For example: “You can try this instead to see how it works.”


“It’s Not My Fault”

The agents might sometimes feel that the customer is trying to blame them for something they did not do or have no control over. Sometimes, when the customer talked with another agent and received incorrect information, the agents might feel they need to mention that that other person was not them. Agents don’t need to justify themselves; you also need to emphasize this in the call center culture. Avoid insinuating blame on specific people. This is not a healthy practice. Let your agents know that they should not take customer comments personally. Sometimes, they are just frustrated with the situation and, again, they just want to solve the issue, not point blame on someone they barely know.

Agents should only focus on helping the customer.


“I’m New”

Do you want to drive away your customers? This phrase touches on two critical points we mentioned before: it kills the confidence the customer has in the agent, and it’s commonly used for new agents to justify themselves. If the agent makes several mistakes during the call, they might feel they need to mention that they are new. But this only reflects poor training. Make sure the agents get the proper training and shadow other agents. This could help them get some confidence in the call. Also, if they don’t have an answer to a question, saying “I am new” is as bad as saying “I don’t know”. The customer will feel that the agent is not able to help them or that they don’t want to try to help them. Recommend your new agents to ask other agents or supervisors questions, and let the customer know they are trying to get the information to help them.

They can say something like this: “I just need to consult this with my supervisor. I’ll be back with you soon with the correct information.”


“Can you please give me your info again?”

“Again” is the scariest word there is. Imagine someone asking you for the same information again and again and again. What horror! Agents should not need to ask for information the customer has already told them. This shows disorganization, carelessness, and laziness. Agents need to keep the CRM updated, and before asking again for information, they need to ensure that that information is in the CRM.



Have you noticed that the most terrifying scene of a horror movie is the moment of silence? It’s the same in call centers. For some reason, silence feels uncomfortable. In a call, it feels like the other person is no longer with us. Silence or dead air can annoy the customer, and it is time that we are not taking leverage.

Here are some tips to help your agent avoid dead air.


Woah! That was a terrifying ordeal. You can see how a small phrase can destroy the customer experience. That is not what we want in a call center. With the correct training, your agents can avoid these phrases and add value to every call.

At Call Center Services International, we provide from one to two weeks of training for your agents, plus your training. This way, the agent workforce is prepared to keep these horror stories away.

Want to scare your colleges this Halloween season? Why don’t you send them this article?