Working in customer service is complex because you are constantly trying to figure out how to best approach your customers and give them what they need. It is tricky since every customer is different, and even the same customer might react differently based solely on their mood. So how are you supposed to improve? Try to use phrases that customers want to hear and don’t seem to be getting as much these days.

1. Thank you

With the internet making buying and selling so easy, it is important that you recognize that it is a big deal if they choose you over the competition. It may seem silly, but actually hearing the words “thank you” from a business means a lot to customers. If you don’t believe me, spend a day thanking anyone and everyone you see from the waiter at the restaurant to the doorman in your building.

Even if it is obvious that you are grateful a customer shopped with your company, literally hearing or seeing it makes a big difference. Some businesses like using text marketing to thank their customers by offering a loyal customer discount or to send a thank you after individual transactions. If customers have a good experience the first go around, they more likely to be forgiving if they have any problems later.

2. I’m sorry

The old saying used to be that the customer is always right. It’s a bit outdated, but even if the customer is wrong, it is your job to ensure they are happy by the time they are done with your interaction. Oddly enough, most businesses choose the path of explaining why what they did was right instead of choosing to apologize for the fiasco. Such as in the case of United with their recent troubles where they apologized for having to “re-accommodate” passengers but not actually for hurting one of their passengers.

When a customer calls in to customer service to complain about something that went wrong, the immediate reaction should be to listen to their complaint fully and then immediately apologize that things went wrong before trying to find a solution.

3. I’m listening

Another phrase to use more in your customer service interactions is “I’m listening” or “I hear you.” Someone who is already frustrated with your company doesn’t really care what you have to say about the situation. 9 times out of 10, they really just want to vent their complaint. Start every interaction by listening to them vent their complaint, and then repeat it back to them to ensure you really have an understanding of what is going wrong.

Another way to show your customers that you are listening is to make sure you pay attention when they fill out surveys or complain about your business on social media. Address these concerns immediately. If customers complain but don’t think you are listening, it might intensify their frustration. Simply letting them know you are listening and have heard what they had to say can go a long way in repairing customer relationships.