The Words to Avoid in Live Chat Communication

Words to Avoid in Live Chat Communication
Words to Avoid in Live Chat Communication

While communicating with customers over live chat there is always a risk to spoil the impression of the conversation by writing something inappropriate. However, not all customer service representatives realize this risk and understand that there are phrases and words to avoid in live chat communication.

The words you use to communicate can convey a lot of meaning. That is why it is important to set the right tone of the conversation from the very first minutes. In this blog post I would like to share some useful customer service tips that will help to improve your overall customer service experience and avoid awkward situations.

Drop the Jargon

Quite often customer service representatives over-estimate customer knowledge about their products or services. And as a result use professional jargon while talking about their offering. To avoid misunderstanding try to provide detailed explanations and descriptions of what you are referring to.

Abbreviations are not for B2C chat

What will your customers think if you send “?” instead of writing “I do not understand what you mean”? In most cases they will be confused because they do not expect to see abbreviations and sms language in B2C live chat. Try to avoid them yourself and train your team to avoid any kind of abbreviations, except those ones which are used in business communication.

Do not sound robotic

Honest and positive language keeps the door open for further interactions. Your customers will not feel unheard and as though it was a waste of time to contact your support chat. However, if you sound robotic and repeat phrases, your customers will feel uneasy and will think twice before dealing with your company in future.

It is also easy to fall into a trap of having template responses, since very often customers come with the same questions. Though it is very handy to have ready-made responses in most cases, you should be trying to answer the customer’s unique query, rather than trying to fit it into one of the existing templates.

Never say “No” directly

There is no company that can give green light to all customers’ requests. Sometimes it happens that you need to refuse. But how to do it right and not to leave your customer disappointed and angry? Never say “No” directly. If you need to refuse, wrap your negative news in positive phrases or give some good news first. Here are a couple of customer service tips that will help you to give negative news right:

  • Provide detailed explanation
  • Offer the closest solution
  • Use positive language
  • Say it right

Just think about something positive while giving bad news. This will help you to choose the right language intuitively. Avoid saying “No” directly, try rephrasing using positive language. For example: “I understand how that would be useful, but I’m afraid we don’t have plans to implement that feature soon” or “We sent your item today. Please accept our apologies for this delay. It was our fault and as a bonus we added to your package a coupon for discount for future purchases in our online store”. Positive language and right phrases smooth away the effect of negative news and give you time to find a solution and deliver great customer experience.

After the bad news is delivered and solutions are identified, track any progress made in solving the problems that led to the bad news. When you solve the issue or release the feature your customer inquired about, notify your customer and deliver good news. Your customers will be grateful and will share their experience.

Avoid Passive Voice

The most simple sentences follow the subject-verb-object format. This means that using the passive voice in live chat may detract from the message you are trying to communicate. Moreover, active voice sounds more natural and friendly while with passive voice ideas are hard to follow, especially when they are complex or technical.

Never tell customers about their responsibilities

The only thing your customer has to do is to pay for the service or products you provide. If there are some actions to be completed by your customer never use “You’ll have to” or “You must”. Using “We need to…”, “You’ll need to” or “Please [action description]” is much better and will not force your customers to think you are giving them orders.

If you don’t know

“I don’t know” does not really help your customer and does not show the best side of you as a customer service representative. Instead, it will be better to say “Let me check this for you, one moment, please” and do your best to find out the answer.

“Just go to our website”

Live chat empowers you to send links directly in chat or even navigate your customers without bothering them with links. Before contacting you, customers have already explored your website. And if they ask that question this means they did not find an answer on your website for some reason. If such questions repeat in future, you’d need to consider updating your website and making things clearer.

I think/I feel/I believe are the words to avoid in live chat

These words do not inspire confidence in what you write and appear to be quite unnecessary. They remove focus from where it should be and consume time for typing. Just get rid of these words. In case you have some assumptions, try expressing them another way: “There might be an issue here, let me check this”.

The bottom line

Today our customers have high expectations and every word you say or write really matters. They become highly frustrated if they are not given special attention and their issue is not resolved timely and respectfully. Save this list of words to avoid in live chat and make sure you do not use any of them in your future interactions with customers.

Provide Support is a leading software provider in customer service, offering live chat and real-time visitor monitoring tool for websites. Empowering customer service with live chat



  1. Thank you, Olga, for that informative post. One thing I appreciate as a consumer is brevity in chat communications. I like it when the customer service rep gets to the point and truly addresses my questions.

    Sylvia Wetuski

  2. Great post Olga! Website cobrowse technology is another great tool to use in conjunction with chat. It eliminates the conversations like “What do you so see? How about now?”

    1. Thank you for reading our blog, Todd. I totally agree with you that co-browsing during the chat session helps to avoid unnecessary questions.

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