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Customer Service English Essentials

Learn the English phrases, sentences, and tips you'll need to handle customer service situations over the phone.
Luke Priddy
7,844 students enrolled
English [Auto]
Master phrases for handling difficult or angry customers
Learn many expressions for handling a variety of CS situations
Understand how to structure logical explanations and answers
Use empathetic language to create a connection with customers
Resolve communication problems effectively

Isn’t it frustrating when you have to deal with an unhappy customer on the phone, especially when you’re using your second language? It can be a big challenge to express yourself clearly and help a customer resolve their problem, while at the same time trying to show empathy and remain professional. I designed this course to help you get the confidence and English expressions needed to resolve issues with even the most difficult clients.

This course is meant for non-native English speakers who deal with English-speaking customers daily, particularly over the phone. You will learn many common English expressions in this course, as well as common vocabulary and tips about intonation and stress to give your spoken English a more native sound (especially over the phone). This course falls in the category of business English.

Each lesson is designed to prepare you for nearly every situation you may face, from keeping an angry customer calm to explaining steps in a detailed process, to telling a customer they are wrong, and much much more! If you practice what you learn, your ability to deal with challenging situations and customers, in English, will improve dramatically.

You will be able to see my face in each video lesson, and I will use a blackboard at all times. 

Each lesson focuses on a single aspect of a particular skill. You can go at your own pace and should take their time, with lots of practice between sections. Replaying each lesson is highly recommended.


About This Course

This course is meant for non-native English speakers who deal with English-speaking customers on a daily basis, particularly over the phone. Each lesson is designed to prepare you for nearly every situation you may face, from keeping an angry customer calm to explaining steps in a detailed process, to telling a customer they are wrong, and much much more!


  • Take notes throughout the course.

  • Make your own examples to ensure maximum retention 

  • Cases used in this course are only for the sake of focus. Most of the expressions and sentence patterns we will learn are universal.

Greeting Customers

The Greeting

Learn a variety of ways to start the call, from simple greetings to more formal salutations. This lesson will focus on the tone and connotation of different ways to say 'hello', among other phrases.

Getting Details

Learn how to ask questions to get essential details before you start dealing with the customer's issue.

The Account Holder

Learn phrases to confirm identity, and how to deal with a situation in which one person is speaking on behalf of another.

"What are you calling about?"

When it's time to find out the purpose of your customer's call, you need to ensure you're getting the right information. In this lesson, learn to ask clear questions in order to better understand the issue.

Follow-up Questions

Time Details

Learn to ask about how long an issue has been happening, as well as other background details about a particular issue.

Getting More Details

Learn ways to push further when an issue hasn’t been fully explained. This is crucial to making sure that the solution is actually relevant to the problem.

Confirming Information

Once you feel you understand the issue, confirm your understanding. Do this by using specific phrases from this lesson.

In-depth Questions

Sometimes it is necessary to dig still further into a customer’s issue. In this lesson, learn how to push for details both with specific questions and with simple requests for information.

Explaining a Service

Phrases to Explain

Learn simple phrases useful in gently getting simple information about a particular service across, as well as key vocabulary to describe it. These phrases can be used to explain nearly any service or product.

Answering Questions

When customers explain what they think a product or service includes, or what it does—whether they are right or wrong—you should be able to effectively and politely let them know whether they correct, and then add some detail in your own words.

Overview of Phrases

This lesson is a simple overview of the phrases learned in this section. Remember to review the expressions covered in this section by making your own examples, then making variations of those examples.

Doing a Walkthrough

Explaining Steps

Learn key tips to keep in mind when describing the steps of a process, as well as critical phrases for walking your customer through the things they need to complete in order to resolve their issue.

Confirming Completion

When talking on the phone, it is critical to making sure each step is complete before moving onto the next. Learn phrases for confirming that a particular step has been done.


Learn ways to handle unexpected problems throughout the walkthrough. These phrases will allow you to express hypotheticals and desirable outcomes.

Communication Gaps

Things to Keep in Mind

Learn a few useful tips for handling communication gaps, particularly those due to accent. Keeping these in mind will allow you to remain balanced, which in turn will keep the customer calm.

Asking for Repetition

Sometimes things need to be repeated. There is a wrong way to do this (What?) and quite a few right ways. Learn how to ask the customer to say something again without making them impatient.

"Is that about right?”

Sometimes you’ll need to say what you think you heard, and then confirm whether or not that’s actually what the customer meant. Learn expressions for doing this effectively.

Numbers and Names

It’s very easy to misunderstand a number or name that was said over the phone. Learn how to make sure you get the right details in order to avoid future problems.

Angry Customers

The Formula

Having a basic structure for handling an unhappy customer can put your mind and ease and help you focus on ‘how’ to say what you want to say rather than ‘what’, which is very important. In this lesson, learn the basic formula for doing this.

Showing Empathy

Showing empathy will allow you to make a connection. If you can make a connection, the customer’s anger will dissipate more quickly. Establishing empathy is a way to remind the customer that you’re a person, not just a robot at the other end of the phone. This is the best way to dissolve tension.

Full Examples

In this lesson, we’ll look at in-depth examples using the phrases learned earlier in the section. Context is the key to learning, and so is practice, so remember to make your own examples!

More Empathy Phrases

Learn a few more useful expressions for talking with frustrated or furious customers over the phone. These phrases have many applications.

Solutions: Reassuring

After you’ve established an empathetic connection with an angry customer, it’s a good idea to reassure them that you’re willing and able to help. In this lesson, learn phrases to reassure.

Solutions: Expressing Solutions

Learn how to lay out a clear solution to a particular issue, and make sure that the customer actually accepts the solution that you are providing.

Solutions: Detailed Solutions

In this lesson, we’ll look at full examples of solutions so that you can see how the expressions we’ve learned so far can actually be put into practice.

When They Need to Wait

Ways to Say ‘Yes’

Learn common phrases to give an affirmative answer, including both formal and informal expressions.

Putting Them on Hold

Learn how to ask a customer to wait on hold while you either look into their case or speak to someone who can help you resolve the issue better.

Coming Back From Hold

Learn the best ways to let the customer know that the hold is over so that the call can be resumed without any awkwardness or tension.

Passing to Others

Transferring Phrases

Learn core phrases to explain why you need to have the customer talk to someone else.

When You Don’t Know

Learn expressions to let the customer know that you don’t know how to resolve their issue, but in a way that keeps them from losing confidence in your company’s ability to deal with the problem.

When You Can’t Help

Learn expressions for telling the customer that you don’t have the authorization to resolve an issue, or perhaps that they have in fact called the wrong department.

Correcting a Misunderstanding

Section Overview

In this lesson, we’ll simply focus on an overview of some ideas in this section, including an explanation of the case.

Correcting Gently

Learn ways to soften language in order to make contradictory or direct feedback more palatable. In this lesson, we’ll focus on the feelings that words create, rather than the explicit meaning they convey.

Clarifying Service Features

Learn useful expressions for ensuring that information about a service or feature has not been misunderstood.

When It’s the Customer’s Fault

Basic Expressions

Learn core phrases for letting a customer know that they are simply incorrect about something. 

Showing Your Desire to Help

When you’re unable to resolve a particular issue because the customer did something irreversible that essentially means there's nothing which can be done to fix it, you can at least let them know that you would like to have helped. In this lesson, learn how to get this across clearly.

Getting Them to Understand

If a customer leaves the call with their issue unresolved, and they don’t understand the reason, they may never come back. However, if they feel that the final result is reasonable, even if it’s not in their favor, they will be much more likely to remain as a customer. 

In-depth Examples

Learn core phrases for letting a customer know that they are simply incorrect about something. In this lesson, we’ll go over some full examples that bring together the expressions from this section. Remember to create your own examples so that the key phrases will stick in your mind.

Making Exceptions

Case Overview

In this lesson, we’ll go over the case, as well as some useful vocabulary for this section. Also, we'll learn a basic structure for making exceptions.

Common Phrases for Exceptions

Learn how to communicate an exception so that the customer feels special. This lesson will focus on phrases and sentence patterns that can fit almost every kind of special case you may come across.

In-depth Examples

In this lesson, learn detailed examples based on the case so that you can gain a deep understanding of the expressions learned in this section. Learning expressions in context is key, and practicing them in your own examples is just as important.

Saying Goodbye

"Anything else?"

This lesson focuses on ways to make sure the issue the customer called about has been fully resolved, before ending the call.

Future Issues

Learn how to make sure the customer knows that they can call again if they have other issues or problems in the future. This ensures a positive and inviting tone, which will leave the customer with a good impression.

Ways to Say “You’re Welcome”

There are many ways to say ‘you’re welcome’ or to respond to positive statements. In this lesson, learn both formal and informal phrases, with complete explanations of each (including the connotations).

Mentioning the Survey

While it may not always be necessary, you may occasionally have to mention a survey. In this lesson, learn expression to ensure that the customer is aware of the survey and feels motivated to complete it.

Before You Hang Up

Never just say ‘bye’. Native English speakers frequently use the expressions you’ll learn in this lesson as part of a friendly and polite farewell.

Course Summary

What have we learned? What next?

Let’s talk about everything we’ve learned, and discussion where you can go from here! You can check out my other courses if there are other skills you need to improve!

You can view and review the lecture materials indefinitely, like an on-demand channel.
Definitely! If you have an internet connection, courses on Udemy are available on any device at any time. If you don't have an internet connection, some instructors also let their students download course lectures. That's up to the instructor though, so make sure you get on their good side!
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7 hours on-demand video
Full lifetime access
Access on mobile and TV
Certificate of Completion
Customer Service English Essentials
$108.98 $79


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