How To Talk to a Customer

a customer service representative.

Tips for Talking to a Customer

Customers are one of the essential stakeholders in any business. They are the ones that drive revenue, allowing you to pay bills and expenses, and grow your business from a startup to a fully-fledged entity. Without customers, your company has a low chance of success, if any.

As you and your employees run the business, you need to learn how to talk to customers in any situation. How you interact with a customer can make or break interactions with them. Talking to your patrons in a friendly yet professional tone is a great way to develop strong customer relations.

The Basics of Talking to Customers

We’ll discuss how to talk to a customer. You’re going to learn everything you need to know, from starting a conversation to interacting with them over the phone to what you should or shouldn’t say. Improve your conversations with your clients with our tips and insights.

Why Learn How to Talk to Customers?

Two young women making a purchase in a clothing store.

It’s crucial that you learn and nurture good communication skills with your customers. Learning how to interact with them is a first step toward creating rapport and getting the customer to buy your product or service.

By talking to your clients, you enhance their customer experience and satisfaction. They will most likely come back to purchase your product or service if they had a positive experience the first time. They may also talk up your business to friends and family, which gets more people buying from you.

Learning how to interact with customers will also come in handy when they have a negative experience with your product or service. You’ll get to know how to act and what to say in this situation to turn things around and get you back to the customer’s good side.

How Do You Start a Conversation With a Customer?

The approach you’ll take to start a conversation with a customer depends on whether they are a potential or existing one. It may also depend on which communication medium you are using. So before you initiate the conversation, you may want to ask yourself the following questions:

  • Has this customer exhibited any interest in buying your product or service? For example, did the customer walk into your retail store or office? Were they staring at your products, or were they going about their day with no intention to buy from you?
  • Has this customer ever purchased from your business? It could be that you are starting a conversation with a returning customer.
  • What communication channel are you using? The approach you use for face-to-face conversation may be different from a phone or email exchange.

Okay, let’s start with a potential customer who doesn’t exhibit interest in buying your product or service. What approach can you use to initiate a conversation? This strategy is often referred to as a cold approach or cold calling in the case of a phone call. It’s intimidating since the customer hasn’t shown interest. Here are a few tips to help you get started:

1. Have a Conversation Starter

One way to cold approach a customer is with a conversation starter. You don’t have to go straight into introducing yourself and your products and services. For example, if you are at a networking event or conference, try and reel into the conversation with a starter like, “This is a great conference. I loved the keynote speech. What did you think about it?” You can also comment about something you noticed about the customer or their business.

2. Introduce the Customer’s Problem

Once the introductions are out of the way and the customer is a bit warmed up, you can gradually convert the conversation to what you believe is the customer’s problem.

For example, let’s assume you are cold-emailing a customer about offering SEO services. You can start by complimenting an article that you just read from their website and then say something like, “Although, I noticed your article ranks on page two of Google search results, despite how good it is.” By introducing the problem, you will maintain the customer’s attention and keep them intrigued to keep reading. And if the conversation is face to face, the customer may respond. Once they do, you can provide your solution.

3. Provide a Solution

Once you introduce the customer’s problem, your next step will be to provide a solution. You can say something like, “If you are interested, my company offers local SEO services. We can work on everything you need to ensure you rank at the top”.

4. Give a Call-to-Action

A customer talking to a bartender.

Give the potential customer a way to contact you. In the case of a face-to-face conversation, you can issue your business card. If it’s an email or call, you can invite the customer to reach you through your phone number or a link to your website.

Let’s now talk about how to start a conversation with a customer who’s exhibited interest. A customer can show interest by calling or emailing you, walking in your store or office, or checking out your website or social media page.

In this case, the best approach is to introduce yourself and ask the customer how you can help them. The customer is already showing interest, so there’s no need to beat around the bush with small talk.

How to Talk to a Customer Effectively

Here are a few other tips to help you talk to a customer effectively:

Thank the Customer

Your first step should be to thank the customer for contacting your business right after greeting them. The approach you use to thank the customer will depend on the specific issue at hand.

For example, if the customer has a complaint, you can say something like, “Hello, Sylvia. Thank you for bringing this issue to light. My name is Thomas, and I will assist in solving it.” If they have a question, use a phrase like “Thank you for raising this question.” The goal here is to appreciate the customer’s efforts to reach your business.

Use a Professional Yet Empathetic Tone

Whether you are talking to the customer via email, phone, or face-to-face, your tone should be professional. Avoid using jargon and lingo terms. Use correct spelling and vocabulary. Some customers might associate your seriousness in business with the words you use.

Also, don’t forget to show empathy when talking to the customer. For example, when they tell you they had a bad experience with your product, you can say something like, “I’m so sorry about that. I know you must have felt like you wasted your money on our product”.

Keep the Conversation Simple and Concise

When talking to a customer, your goal should be to find a solution to their query, concern, or complaint. Most customers contact you because they have an issue they want to be solved or addressed. Strive to talk to the customer in a way that allows them to grasp the information. Use short and simple sentences and avoid technical details.

Personalize the Conversation

Try and make the conversation as personal and as friendly as possible. Call the customer by name (if you know it) and introduce yourself. If your communication is via email or text, sign off with your name and role in the company.

Personalizing the conversation shows the customer that you value and appreciate them. It shows them that you don’t view them as merely a number or another customer. They will enjoy the conversation because they’ll feel like they are talking to a person and not an entire department or a company.

Invite Them to Return

End the conversation with an invitation for the customer to call back or return to your store. Try using a phrase like “feel free to contact us anytime if you have more questions” or “if you need anything else, we’d be happy to help.” By inviting the customer back, they won’t feel awkward calling again.

Be Warm and Respectful

Don’t forget to smile as you talk to the customer. Grant them your undivided attention and use a happy and psyched-up tone during the conversation. Being warm will welcome the customer to respond and keep the conversation going until you address their concern.

How Do You Get Comfortable Talking to Customers

Let’s face it, talking to a customer comes with a certain level of anxiety. You have to choose your words carefully. You wouldn’t want to say anything that upsets the customer and costs you a sale. It can feel scary, which is why we have included a few more tips to help you get comfortable interacting with customers.

  • Know your product or service

One way to get comfortable is by knowing your product or service. Strive to learn all the intricacies of the goods you sell. This way, you’ll explain to the customer how it will benefit them without feeling nervous or mixing your words.

  • Know that rejection is okay

In some instances, the nervousness of talking to a customer may arise from a fear of failure or rejection. You may be afraid that the customer might not like your product or service or that you won’t do a great job of persuading them.

It’s okay if the customer doesn’t buy your product or service. Rejection happens even to the best of salespeople. It’s nothing personal. Maybe they can’t afford it, or they don’t need it now. By telling yourself it’s okay to get rejected, you will be in a better position to talk to the customer without the heavy expectation to close the deal.

  • Be confident and relaxed 

Before making the call or approaching the customer, take a few minutes to calm your nerves. You can practice taking slow deep breaths or other relaxing techniques. Loosen up and be at ease. Doing so will help you not overthink the process and ensure you don’t stumble over your words.


Two women in a call center.

Nurturing friendly and effective communication with a customer is a crucial first step to getting them to buy your product or service. It enhances their experience with your brand and creates a rapport that may see the customer choosing to purchase from you every time.

The approach you take to start a conversation with a customer depends on whether they are a potential or existing customer. In the case of a potential customer, you first need to analyze whether they exhibited any interest in your product or service.

If a customer doesn’t show any interest, you can initiate talks with them using a conversation starter. If they show interest, for example, walk into your retail store, go ahead and introduce yourself, then ask how you can help.

When talking to a customer, keep the conversation short, simple, and a bit personal. Avoid using jargon or lingo terms. Use a professional yet empathetic tone, and don’t forget to thank the customer for taking the time to talk to you.


Examples for Talking to Customers

Examples of talking with customers can provide insights and learning opportunities to help you improve conversations with your customers.

If you’re a person that learns by example, then the Google search results below can help you find examples you can put to use starting now. So take a few minutes of your time to browse the sections.

The Latest Google Searches Related To:


If you want to master interactions with your customers, it may be worthwhile to look into courses to help you deal with them.

The courses you find will go way beyond just speaking with the customer. It will give you a blueprint to improve customer satisfaction, deliver great customer service and tailor your products and services to deliver the needs and wants to your target market. See the latest Google search results for courses to improve customer relations.

Books Related to Speaking With Customers

Books are another great resource for detailed information. I like to go through the table of contents, which summarizes what to expect from the book.

The table of contents can provide you with ideas for issues you may not have considered. See Google’s Book Search Results for improving customer relations.


The news is a good resource for keeping up with what’s going on in the world. It can be overwhelming to monitor all the news, but when you focus on one area, you can pick up many tips and insights and learn from other people’s mistakes.

What I like about google news is you can search for a specific topic, view archives, and even set up alerts so you can get breaking news about any topic. See the Latest News Related to Improving Customer Relations


A customer pointing to an item in a bakery.

Because it engages more of your senses, watching videos is an excellent method to learn. You are utilizing your visual and auditory senses to think.
I learn more from videos than I do from books.

Finding excellent videos and authors you can trust is the key to picking up helpful suggestions on YouTube.
Within a few seconds, I generally get a decent idea of the video.
If the video seems like a sales pitch or someone who doesn’t know what they’re talking about, I skip to the next one to avoid wasting my time. Check out the most recent YouTube Videos Related to Speaking With Customers.