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Telefonieren auf Englisch: Kundereklamationen erfolgreich meistern!

We discussed basic etiquette and phrases for having a basic Business English phone conversation. In this post, we will discuss how to handle a customer complaint.

Handling a Customer Complaint. This topic is perhaps the nightmare situation of most non-native English speakers. However, dealing with difficult customers is a common situation in the business world, and oftentimes, phone etiquette can reflect deeply on how customers perceive the company overall. It is essential to be polite to the customer, no matter the situation. As in our last post, here’s a sample dialogue between a caller and receiver. Important phrases are bold.

…Ring…. Ring….

“Business 101, this is Stan White speaking. How may I help you today?”

“Yes, hello. I received an incorrect order of business cards last week that I’d like a refund for.”

“Of course, miss, I can help you with that. May I have your name please?”

“It’s Kate Brown.”

“Ok Ms. Brown, one moment, and I will transfer you to our customer service department.”

(Stan White place Kate Brown on a brief hold.)

…Ring… Ring….

“Business 101 Customer Service, this is Jesse speaking, how may I help you?”

“Hello, yes, my name is Kate Brown. I’d like a refund on the business cards I had delivered last week. They are full of typos and the ink quality is awful!”

“Oh, I’m sorry to hear that your order was unsatisfactory, Ms. Brown. May I have the order number so I can look up the details?”

“It’s 123456”

“Ok, Ms. Brown, it says here you received 500 business cards last week to you address at 123 Elm Place. We would just need a photo scan of one of the misprinted cards in order to issue a refund. Our email is Would you like us to send a replacement order at 50% off?”

“Absolutely not. I needed these cards for a conference this week, and they were all messed up! I can’t trust your quality, so I’m going to a different company. When can I expect my refund?”

“It should be posted to your account in about 5 business days. I am sorry for the inconvenience this caused. We greatly value your business, so I can offer you a 50% discount on an order any of our products in case you change your mind. The discount code is ABC123.

“We’ll see. Thank you for your assistance, Jesse.”

“You’re welcome Ms. Brown. Have a nice day. Goodbye.”

(They end the call.)

In this situation, the customer was angry, but the representative used important phrases like “I’m sorry to hear that your order was unsatisfactory” and “We greatly value your business” to show respect and empathy for the customer’s complaint. Such phrases are important to know for any workers dealing with customers on a daily basis. Next we will finalize our post on the topic of telephoning by discussing some more useful phrases.


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