By Nancy Friedman, President, Telephone Doctor Customer Service and Keynote Speaker on Sales, Customer Service and Communication Skills

Conversation killers. That’s what they really are.

Killer words and phrases help make your customers and your potential customers veer away from the real point of your conversation.

Best we eliminate them from our routine and vocabulary. It’s not easy to do. If it were easy to do, everyone would be doing it, and we know everyone isn’t doing it.

3 of the Top-Rated Killer Buzz Words Are:

No Problem – The customer is thinking, “Am I a problem?” When someone does something for you and tells you “thank you,” you simply need the GOLD STANDARD of: “you’re welcome.”
Overused and abuse: “No problem” appears to be a big problem with your customers. Lose it. It kills the conversation.

Calm Down – Telling someone to Calm Down has never calmed them down. This one makes the hair on the back of their neck stand up. In any movie or TV show we’ve seen, when someone is told to “calm down,” the next words from the other actor are usually: “Don’t you tell me to calm down.” Right! It’s not our job to tell someone how to act. There are times when the client may need to vent. Your job is to listen and come in at the appropriate time with sympathetic and empathetic wording. Telling a customer how to handle their actions isn’t a great idea.

Yes, but… – What’s wrong with that? We all say it don’t we? The minute we use “yes, but” as an answer, the client can feel something negative is coming. If you’ve ever said, “I love you so much, but…” the other person knows there’s a condition coming. If you need the word “BUT” try using “HOWEVER” instead.

Most people have phrases and sayings they don’t like or aggravate them. Keep a list of your killer words (along with ours) and avoid them.

Enjoy and please share.

Nancy Friedman

Nancy Friedman

Communication and customer service expert Nancy Friedman, The Telephone Doctor, founder and chairman of Telephone Doctor Customer Service Training, is back in the saddle again. Well, back into live onsite programs, and still offering her ZOOM programs, in a cost saving manner. Whichever you choose, onsite or Zoom, you’ll be glad you did. The reviews are excellent, and audiences have loudly applauded her in either area. Sales, customer service and communication skills are her area of expertise, and she welcomes calls, texts, or emails. You can reach her directly at; through the website at, where you can sign up for her newsletters; or call/text directly at 314-276-1012 central time. Bring it on. Whether you need a keynote speaker or workshop/breakout speaker on customer service and communication skills, you’ll make a great choice.