How to Call Customer Support in English

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2022-04-29・ 7521

Speak English With Vanessa channel


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Instruction

Double-click on the English captions to play the video from there.

00:00
Vanessa: Hi, I'm Vanessa from SpeakEnglishWithVanessa.com.  
00:05
Have you ever had to call customer  support and hated it? Let's talk about it.  
00:16
This past Christmas, I bought my mom this  photo scanner for Christmas. She could save  
00:23
all of our old childhood photographs, but  there is a problem. It makes a really strange  
00:31
sound. I've been delaying calling customer support  for so many months. I feel so bad that I've put it  
00:40
off for so long, but I have decided to take you  on the journey with me. I want to help you feel  
00:49
confident calling customer support, or  maybe you work at a customer support center  
00:56
and you need to have the right expressions and the  right phrases to do your job accurately and well. 
01:04
So today, I want to help you  call customer support in English.  
01:09
You are going to be listening to me call customer  support for this photo scanner, and I will be  
01:16
explaining some common expressions that you hear  the support guy say. And that hear me say. I hope  
01:23
you can feel empowered to use these expressions  yourself. And like always, I have created a free  
01:30
PDF worksheet with all of today's expressions,  phrases, ideas, and tips so that you never  
01:38
forget what you've learned. You can click on  the link in the description to the free PDF  
01:43
worksheet for today's lesson. Plus at the end of  the worksheet, you can answer Vanessa's challenge  
01:50
question. Make sure that you click on the link  and download it today, and let's get started. 
01:55
When I call customer support, I'm going to attempt  to quickly describe the problem that I'm having,  
02:03
which is the scanner is making a strange noise.  And then the customer support person is going to  
02:09
help me figure out what the problem is. This  is called troubleshooting, troubleshooting.  
02:17
So we might say, "Hey, let me help you  troubleshoot." Or, "Let's trouble shoot a few  
02:24
things." So they might not know exactly what the  problem is immediately, but they could say let's  
02:30
troubleshoot a few things. We're going to try  this, then we'll try this. Then we'll try this.  
02:34
Overall, we're trying to come up with the  answer, the solution, let's troubleshoot. 
02:40
Okay. Are you ready to see some troubleshooting?  You'll seem me give the support number a call  
02:47
and we'll just see what happens from there. Let's  watch. All right. Let's call and see how long I  
02:54
have to be on hold. Speaker 2: 
03:00
Thank you for calling Plustek Technology, the  leader in imaging and surveillance solutions.  
03:07
Your call may be monitored or  recorded for training purposes.  
03:11
If you know your party's extension,  please dial it now. For technical support,  
03:17
please press one. Vanessa: 
03:20
All right, let's take a quick pause. There are  five phrases that I want to talk to you about  
03:25
in that short clip. Yes. I know five  phrases, but a lot happens at the  
03:29
beginning of this conversation. First,  I used a wonderful expression, to be on  
03:34
hold. To be on hold. I'm not holding  something, it just means I'm waiting.  
03:40
So if you work in customer support, this is a  great phrase you can use. You might be super busy,  
03:46
but you have to pick up the phone. So you  might pick up the phone and say, "I'm sorry,  
03:50
can I put you on hold?" Or, "Excuse me, can I  put you on hold please? Can I put you on hold?" 
03:56
And the other person really doesn't  have a choice. They have to say a yes,  
04:00
but it's just a polite thing to say, "Excuse me,  I'm going to put you on hold for just a minute and  
04:05
I'll be right there." And you can put them on  hold. That means they have to wait, but you'll  
04:11
come back to them. Another common phrase that  you will hear when you call customer support is,  
04:16
"Thank you for calling." The name of the company.  "Thank you for calling the computer doctor. Thank  
04:22
you for calling Microsoft. Thank you for calling."  Extremely polite. Before a real person picks up  
04:28
the phone, while you're still listening to the  automated message, you'll probably hear this. 
04:33
"Your call may be monitored or recorded  for training purposes." And this is pretty  
04:39
self explanatory. Maybe they will use your  customer support phone call to help train  
04:46
other people about how to do customer support  well, or maybe how to do it not so well.  
04:52
In my opinion, this might be just a legal thing,  that if they record the phone call, then the  
04:59
customer can't file a lawsuit or do something  like this. This is my gut feeling about it,  
05:06
but who knows, maybe they're using the phone call  just like we are using the phone call for training  
05:11
purposes. Another common phrase in customer  support in the automated message is, "If you  
05:18
know your party's extension, please dial it now." Your party's extension. Are you going to a party?  
05:26
I never knew that calling customer support was  like a party. No, unfortunately it's not like a  
05:32
party. That just means the people you're trying  to reach. Sometimes when we use the word party,  
05:38
we're talking about a group of people. There's  a party of people here, a party of people here.  
05:44
You often hear this in restaurants. They might  say, "Smith, party of four. When your table is  
05:51
ready." If your last name is Smith, they might  say, "Smith party of four." And if you're waiting  
05:56
outside the restaurant, you'll say, "Oh,  Smith, that's my name. Four there's four of us. 
06:02
They're talking about our party. Our group of  people. If you don't know your party's extension,  
06:08
listen for the options that the automated message  gives you. Sometimes this can be quite frustrating  
06:14
because you think one of them is for you and then  you listen for others and then you forget that  
06:18
number and you have to listen to it all over  again. These things can be quite frustrating,  
06:22
but thankfully, the support number that I called  was very straightforward. They said for technical  
06:29
support, please press one. Oh, I needed technical  support, that's great. That must be the majority  
06:36
of people who call them. They need technical  support, but you could hear other things like,  
06:41
"For sales, please press two." Sometimes you also hear a language  
06:46
option given, "For English, please press one.  For Spanish, please press two." You might be  
06:53
given some language options as well. All right,  let's go on to the next set of my support call  
06:58
and see what happens. Customer Support: 
07:04
Thank you for calling Plustek  Support how can I help you? 
07:05
Vanessa: Hi, I'm calling about a device that I bought  
07:09
back in November and I bought it as a Christmas  present. So, the person I bought it for just  
07:14
started to use it now and it's making a strange  noise. So I thought I'd call to see if you guys  
07:19
had any tips about what I should do. You just  heard me attempting to summarize my problem  
07:25
in just a few sentences. I felt a little bit  nervous and yeah, I've been delaying this call  
07:30
for a while, so I wasn't sure what they were  going to say, but I did it, and I'm helping  
07:35
you at the same time. Win-win. All right. At the  beginning of this, you heard the support guy say,  
07:41
"How can I help you?" What a beautiful question. First of all, he picked up the phone so quickly.  
07:48
That's amazing. I was expecting to be on hold for  a while, and then he said, "How can I help you?"  
07:55
This is so polite. So if you work for customer  support, please use this phrase, "Thank you for  
08:00
calling Plustek Support. How can I help you?" So  lovely. For me, I got right to the point. I said,  
08:07
"I'm calling about." Blank. I tried to give a  quick summary of what happened. I kind of went a  
08:13
little bit around about, but when you want to tell  customer support about a problem that you have,  
08:20
be direct, I'm calling about a problem with  my phone. I'm calling about a problem with  
08:26
the printer, it's making a strange sound, great. Straightforward, to the problem, and it can help  
08:32
you to troubleshoot faster. Okay, let's go on to  the next section and listen into our conversation. 
08:37
Customer Support: Oh, what kind of scanner is it? 
08:39
Vanessa: It's the photo scanner. It's the Plustek  
08:46
photo scanner Z300, I think is the name. Customer Support: 
08:50
Okay. Did you already download the driver?  Is ePhoto already installed on the computer? 
08:58
Vanessa: Yes. So I've already scanned a couple pictures and  
09:02
tried to test out a couple things. I looked at  the Amazon reviews videos to see if the videos  
09:08
that other people showed had the same sound, and I  didn't hear it in those videos. So that's why I'm  
09:13
calling you guys eyes. You heard the  customer support ask me some basic questions.  
09:19
"What kind of scanner do you have? Have  you already downloaded the drivers?"  
09:23
These types of basic questions. I used a great  phrasal verb that I want to introduce to you.  
09:30
This is the phrasal verb that I used. To test  out. I said, "I already scanned a couple pictures  
09:37
and tried to test out a couple things." So I didn't want to just call customer  
09:41
support right away. In fact, I waited a little too  long I think, but I tried to look at the reviews,  
09:48
see if other people had tips, see if this is  a common thing that happens. Maybe it's not  
09:54
even a problem, it's just in an annoying  sound. I tried to test out various things  
10:00
before calling customer support, and he could have  used this phrasal verb too. He could have said,  
10:06
"All right, there's a couple things that I  want to test out. All right, here are some  
10:11
things that we should test out while we're still  on the phone." And it's a simple way of saying,  
10:16
let's try these things. Okay, let's go to the next  section of my call, and learn some new phrases. 
10:22
Customer Support: Just to confirm,  
10:24
are you using a 24 volt power adapter? Vanessa: 
10:27
I believe so. That's what it came with. Customer Support: 
10:31
Let's double check. You can unplug  it from the wall and check next to  
10:34
output. Vanessa: 
10:38
Okay. Let's see. It says output 24 volt. Yes. Customer Support: 
10:44
That should be the correct one. Vanessa: 
10:45
Okay. In this section you heard three phrases.  The first one is, just to confirm, and this is  
10:54
often used when you assume something  but you're not completely sure.  
11:00
So at the beginning of our conversation, he used  this to make sure that we were on the same page.  
11:05
Let's say that you call customer support about  your computer. The first thing they might say is,  
11:10
"Just to confirm, is your computer plugged into  a power source?" Well, this is essential. If  
11:19
your computer is plugged in, then everyone can get  started. Or you could use this if you're at work,  
11:26
and you're not sure when your business meeting is. Maybe you think it's at two o'clock, but you're  
11:32
not sure, you might ask your coworker just  to confirm, our meeting's at two o'clock  
11:36
right? This is a great phrase to check,  to make sure that you're on the same page.  
11:42
And when he asked me, are you using a 24 volt  power adapter? Well, I wasn't exactly sure, but I  
11:51
imagined that I probably was using the right cord  because I used what came in the box. So I said,  
11:57
"I believe so." This is a great phrase  to use when you're pretty certain,  
12:02
but you're not completely sure. So if there's a  little bit of doubt, you can say, "I believe so." 
12:09
And then I checked and yes, this was the right  type of adapter, but he just wanted to make  
12:14
sure. So he could have just said, "Well, look on  the adapter and see what it says." But you know  
12:21
what? That's a little direct, instead he said,  "Let's double check." Let's double check. This  
12:27
is very polite. It's not assuming that I'm dumb  or that I just put any old cord in the wall. No,  
12:34
he's just saying, "Let's double check. Let's do  this together." It felt very affirming that I've  
12:40
tried, that I'm trying to do my best and he's here  to help me. Let's double check. Let's go through  
12:45
it together. Let's double check. Beautiful phrase. All right, let's go to the next section. I want  
12:51
you to listen for the first phrase that he uses  in this section, and then we're going to be doing  
12:57
some troubleshooting, but we're going to go back  and focus on that first phrase that you are about  
13:01
to hear. Let's listen. Customer Support: 
13:03
Let's go ahead and hear  it. Try putting in a photo. 
13:05
Vanessa: Okay. All right. I just put a photo over there.  
13:22
Okay. That was it. Customer Support: 
13:25
It does sound a bit unusual.  Are you scanning at 300 or  
13:28
600 DPI? Vanessa: 
13:29
I first started at 300 and then I did 600 to see  if that made it any different and it was the same. 
13:36
Customer Support: Okay. Did you install the software via  
13:40
the disc or the software online? Vanessa: 
13:43
I did the software online. At the beginning  of this section, you heard him say,  
13:48
"Let's go ahead." Let's go ahead and hear that  strange sound you're talking about. Let's go  
13:55
ahead and hear it. Try to put it in a photo.  Well, we often use this phrase, let's go ahead  
14:01
and ... when you are troubleshooting and trying  to solve and figure out a solution. So we might  
14:08
present multiple ideas, multiple solutions. We're  not sure which one is going to work, but you can  
14:14
present them with this phrase. Let's go ahead and  try this first, let's go ahead and do this next.  
14:20
Let's go ahead and try these things and see what  works. This is a great polite phrase to use. Okay.  
14:27
Let's go on to our next section. Listen carefully. Customer Support: 
14:30
That should be correct. I'd like to try to  give you a different version. If it still makes  
14:35
those noises, then it's most likely a physical  error and it's still covered under warranty. 
14:40
Vanessa: Oh, okay. That's great. I wasn't sure because  
14:43
I bought it back in November. What that would be. Customer Support: 
14:45
Oh, no worries. It should be a year. Vanessa: 
14:47
Oh, okay. Customer Support: 
14:50
Let me get your email and I can  send you a different version  
14:52
to try. Vanessa: 
14:53
In this section, you heard three useful phrases.  The first one is, "I'd like to try." "I'd like to  
15:01
try and give you a different version." This is one  of the possible solutions that he's offering. He  
15:07
doesn't know if this is going to be the one that  solves the problem, but it's one of the options.  
15:12
I'd like to try this and then we can try this. I'd  like to try this. I'd like to try that. The next  
15:18
phrase is a two part phrase, because maybe your  first solution, isn't the one that works. So you  
15:25
want to give another idea. You might say, if it  still makes a strange noise, then it's most likely  
15:36
a physical error. So here the two parts are, if  it's still the problem, then it's most likely. 
15:46
And then that's kind of your final  last conclusion, the thing that well,  
15:52
maybe causes the most hassle, which means I  need to return the entire device to the company,  
15:58
and that's a hassle, but that's the final option.  So we have this wonderful two part phrase. Let's  
16:03
take a look at a sample where you could use  this. If your computer still won't turn on,  
16:08
then it's most likely a hard drive error and  you'll have to bring it in for repairs. I'm sorry,  
16:15
but the last phrase is good news.  It is covered under warranty. Yes.  
16:22
So this means that you can return it for free.  You might need to pay for shipping, but overall,  
16:29
you don't need to pay for a new divide. This is huge. Especially when you purchase  
16:35
something online, you don't always know what the  warranty policy is, especially with electronics,  
16:41
but he said it's covered under warranty.  Beautiful. So you can ask this too.  
16:48
Do you know if it's still covered under warranty?  How long is the warranty for this scanner?  
16:56
This is a great question to ask because you  want to know, am I going to have to pay some  
17:01
big bucks to get this back to the company and  then to get another one? What is the warranty?  
17:08
It's important to know. All right, let's go on  to the final section where you're going to learn  
17:12
the two final phrases that are useful from  today's call center call, let's listen. 
17:19
Customer Support: You're on the Windows machine, right? 
17:21
Vanessa: Yes. That's right. 
17:22
Customer Support: Great. I'm going to send you a  
17:25
different version. If it's still encountering the  same issue, just call me back or you can email me  
17:30
and we'll get started on the RMA process. Vanessa: 
17:32
Okay. Thank you so much. I'm really glad to  hear that there's still a warranty just in  
17:36
case it doesn't work out, I felt bad  it took us so long to call you guys. 
17:40
Customer Support: Oh, no problem, happy to help.  
17:41
We'll get it straightened out. Vanessa: 
17:43
Okay. Thanks so much. I'll look for that email. Customer Support: 
17:45
Great. Thank you so much. Vanessa: 
17:46
Thanks. Bye. In this final section, we're going  to talk about three phrases. The first one is,  
17:53
in case it doesn't work out. This phrasal  verb to work out means to find the solution,  
18:00
to find the answer to the problem. So he's  suggesting that I download a new driver  
18:05
and I said, "Okay, I'll try that." But in case it  doesn't work out, I can always use the warranty. I  
18:14
can return it to the company and get a new one for  free. I was really worried about that, but I used  
18:21
this great phrase in case that doesn't work out, I  can use the warranty. Great. Just like every great  
18:30
call center employee should say, or just a nice  person. He said, "Oh no problem. Happy to help." 
18:39
Whenever you help someone, maybe you make an  English lesson for them, you can tell them,  
18:44
"I'm happy to help you." Or if your friend is  moving and you come and help them to pack up  
18:50
some boxes and they say, "Thank you so much for  helping me." You could say, "I'm happy to help."  
18:56
You're not just doing it because you have a duty.  You feel obligated. No, you are happy to help.  
19:04
How kind, what a beautiful phrase. And the final  phrase that I want to share with you today is,  
19:09
we'll get it straightened out. We'll get it  straightened out. We can imagine a tangled mess  
19:16
of yarn, of string. Oh, it's just so messed up. Oh, but when you straighten it out, all of a  
19:23
sudden it's easy to use again. Whoa, this is what  he is offering to me. Don't worry, we'll get it  
19:30
straightened out. Especially because my problem  was not completely solved in just this one phone  
19:36
call. I still need to download the drivers and  make sure that it's working fine. So he said,  
19:41
"We'll get it straightened out." This has the  feeling of taking care of me. You're taking  
19:46
care of the customer, even though we didn't solve  it right now, you go download the driver, give it  
19:52
your best bet, and don't worry, we will be here  to support you. We'll get it straightened out. 
19:57
The confidence, no matter what, we will find a  solution. We'll get it straightened out, I'll be  
20:02
here for you. It's very assuring. What a great  thing for a customer support center guy to say.  
20:09
I think it's pretty fair to say that this  guy has excellent customer service skills.  
20:15
Let's try to break down exactly what he did really  well, so that if you work for customer support,  
20:21
you can do that as well. Let's take a look  at these four things that he did. Number one,  
20:26
he responded quickly. He picked up the phone  immediately. I wasn't even on hold for long at  
20:32
all. Now I know this is sometimes not your fault. You have a lot of phone calls to get to,  
20:37
and there's a lot of things going on. But  even if you have to have a customer on hold,  
20:43
you can still say something very kind like,  "Excuse me, can you please go on hold for a  
20:48
moment? I'll be right with you." Very polite,  very clear, lovely. Because number two, is be  
20:55
polite and friendly. Yes, it's your job. Yes the  customer is probably complaining about something,  
21:01
but you can still be polite and friendly,  using all of the phrases from today's lesson,  
21:07
you can arm yourself with polite words to say. Tip  number three is to try to figure out the problem. 
21:14
Now this is not talking about the solution, this  is the problem. It's important to understand the  
21:21
problem that your customer is having. And a  good way to do this is to repeat it back, "Oh,  
21:27
the machine is making a really loud sound. Oh your  computer isn't turning on after it was doing." So  
21:35
you are repeating the problem back. You're trying  to figure out exactly what the problem is that the  
21:41
customer is sharing with you. Number four of  course is to try to find a helpful solution,  
21:48
a helpful solution. Sometimes you can find a  helpful solution quickly, sometimes you need  
21:53
to follow up in an email later, but you can  always use that phrase and say, "We'll get it  
21:58
straightened out. Don't worry, I'm here to help." All right. I hope you enjoy today's lesson and it  
22:04
was useful to you. The next time you have to call  customer support or you work for customer support,  
22:09
I hope it was useful to you. Don't forget to  download today's free PDF worksheet. There  
22:14
is a link in the description. Don't  forget any of today's phrases, ideas,  
22:19
sample sentences. And you can answer Vanessa's  challenge question at the bottom of the worksheet.  
22:25
There's a link in the description so you can  download it today. Now I have a question for  
22:29
you. Do you like to call customer support? Maybe  you're one of those rare people that enjoys it. 
22:38
Let me know in the comments. I hope today's  lesson was useful to you and I will see you again  
22:43
next Friday for a new lesson here on my YouTube  channel. Bye. The next step is to download  
22:50
the free PDF worksheet for this lesson. With  this free PDF, you will master today's lesson  
22:57
and never forget what you have learned. You  can be a confident English speaker. Don't  
23:03
forget to subscribe to my YouTube channel  for a free English lesson every Friday. Bye.
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