Dealing With Complaints for ESL Customer Service Reps

Customer Service Representative
Customer Service Representative. Paul Bradbury / Getty Images

Mistakes happen. When they do, customer service representatives often need to handle consumers' complaints. It's also important for customer service reps to gather information to help resolve the problem. The following short dialog provides some helpful phrases to deal with complaints:

Customer: Good morning. I purchased a computer from your company last month. Unfortunately, I'm not satisfied with my new computer. I'm having a lot of problems.
Customer Care Representative: What seems to be the problem?

Customer: I'm having problems with my Internet connection, as well as repeated crashes when I try to run my word-processing software.
Customer Care Representative: Did you read the instructions that came with the computer?

Customer: Well, yes. But the troubleshooting section was no help.
Customer Care Representative: What happened exactly?

Customer: Well, the Internet connection doesn't work. I think the modem is broken. I'd like a replacement.
Customer Care Representative: How were you using the computer when you tried to connect to the Internet?

Customer: I was trying to connect to the Internet! What kind of question is that?!
Customer Care Representative: I understand you're upset, sir. I'm just trying to understand the problem. I'm afraid it's not our policy to replace computers because of glitches.

Customer: I bought this computer with the software pre-loaded. I haven't touched anything.
Customer Care Representative: We’re sorry that you’ve had a problem with this computer. Could you bring in your computer? I promise you we'll check the settings and get back to you immediately.

Customer: OK, that will work for me.
Customer Care Representative: Is there anything else I need to know about this that I haven’t thought to ask?

Customer: No, I'd just like to be able to use my computer to connect to the Internet.
Customer Care Representative: We'll do our best to get your computer working as soon as possible.

Key Vocabulary

  • customer service representatives (reps)
  • gather information
  • resolve the problem
  • deal with complaints
  • not our policy
  • troubleshoot
  • glitch

Key Phrases

  • What seems to be the problem?
  • What happened exactly?
  • I'm afraid it's not our policy to ...
  • I promise you I'll ...
  • Did you read the instructions that came with the ...?
  • How were you using the ...?
  • I understand you're upset, sir.
  • I'm just trying to understand the problem.
  • We’re sorry that you’ve had a problem with this product.
  • Is there anything else I need to know about this that I haven’t thought to ask?

Comprehension Quiz

Answer the questions to check your understanding of the dialogue between a customer and a customer service representative.

1. When did the customer buy the computer?

2. How many problems is the customer having?

3. If you can answer a few questions, I'm sure we'll __________ the problem soon.

4. I'm afraid it's __________ to replace computers with software problems.

5. When did the customer first notice the problem?

6. What suggestion does the customer service make to solve the problems?

7. Could you please __________ my computer? I can't seem to get this software working properly.

8. Once I __________ the information, I can help you solve your problem.

9. As a customer service representative, I need to _____________ with complaints and troubleshoot software problems.

10. Our __________________ representatives provide help for customers from around the world.

Dealing With Complaints for ESL Customer Service Reps

You got: % Correct.

Dealing With Complaints for ESL Customer Service Reps

You got: % Correct.