Call Center Etiquette: Things an Agent Should Never Say to the Customer

When customer interaction is happening over the phone, the customer can’t hear a smile or see the body language of the person on the other side of the line. Customers expect a call center agent to answer the phone with the answers for a great customer service experience.

Call center agents need to know the proper phone etiquette for maintaining a great customer experience. You might be surprised by the things an answering service is trained to never say. Click To Tweet

What are some things a call answering service agent should NEVER say to the customer?

A dependable phone answering service offers great customer service and phone calls answered on time. The call center agents who answer customer calls need to know these phrases to steer clear of:

  1. “That’s not something I can help with”
  2. “I don’t know”
  3. “That’s just our policy”
  4. “Let me try to…”
  5. “Calm down”

1) “That’s not something I can help with”

Don’t immediately shoot down what the client has to say with not being able to help. If a situation has been presented to you that you’re unable to resolve on your own, let the customer know you’ll find a solution for them. To seek assistance, put customers on hold or transfer them to someone who can resolve the issue. 

2) “I don’t know”

If you don’t have the answer to the question, don’t say “I don’t know”. The customer wants to know that the person on the other end of the line has the answers. Try saying “let me find that for you” or offer to get back to them with more detailed information instead. 

Pro Tip: Always reassure the customer that you have a solution to their problem, even if you don’t at the moment.

3) “That’s just our policy”

If there’s something you’re unable to do because of your company policy, sometimes callers might have difficulty understanding how that works. You might have to explain as carefully as possible what you can and cannot do for the client but never say “that’s just our policy”. The client wants a solid understanding.

4) “Let me try to…”

The customer on the phone doesn’t care what you’re going to try and do, they just want you to give them results. Let them know what it is you’re doing and how long it will take, and get back to them with a resolution or a new suggestion.

5) “Calm down”

When a customer feels aggravated about a situation with your company’s product or service, those feelings might come out over the phone. In a situation where you answer the phone to an angry customer, don’t tell them to calm down. Simply listen carefully to what their issue is and ask how you can resolve it for them. 


Study these call center etiquette tips to avoid making inappropriate comments on the phone with a customer. It’s important to know how to communicate politely on the phone and assist clients with answering questions.

Get connected with VoiceLink for more answering service tips!