Brevity in Customer Service: Seven Capital Sins Brevity in customer service is not only a “nice-to-have,” but a necessity in today’s information overload society. Nobody has the time to listen to minutes—or hours—of explanations on what a product can do, or why it doesn’t have the specific item you asked for, or why it won’t be delivered on time. With a simple search on the Internet, customers can discover the features of a new product, where their goods are, or what happened with the delivery they were expecting. Brevity in Customer Service It’s not enough to simply understand the need for brevity in customer service. You need to go deeper and figure out why it’s so difficult for you to get to the point. Brevity is a habit, the more you apply it, the easier becomes. Seven Reasons Why Brevity is Not Applied in Customer Service There are many reasons why brevity in customer service is not a standard yet, but these key contributors can be deadly if left unchecked. Let’s take them one by one: Cowardice. You hide behind meaningless words and don’t have the guts to be clear and take a stand. Confidence. You are a know-it-all and, to your customers’ dismay, you cannot restrain yourself from explaining every painful detail. Callousness. You don’t respect people’s time. You start talking as if your customer has all the time in the world, and has nothing better to do than listen to your rant. Comfort. You let yourself get wordy with the customers who know you. Familiarity breeds contempt and lack of brevity. Confusion. You choose to think out loud when it’s still not clear to you what you are trying to say—a big mistake. People make judgments about you and your abilities. Be careful when and to whom you think out loud. Complication. You believe there are some things too complex to be simplified. When your customers want a simple answer, you need to give it to them. When they don’t get it, they lose patience and trust. Carelessness. You are often verbally sloppy and let your message get mixed up, leaving people frustrated. Consider this a personal checklist of what you need to work on to become a lean communicator and a master of brevity in customer service. Ask yourself on a regular basis: “How often do I get to the point more quickly in my conversations with clients?” Want to know more about being brief? Check out The Brief Practitioner, an online course from The Brief Lab that teaches executives how to avoid information overload and become lean, effective leaders and communicators.

Brevity in customer service is not only a “nice-to-have,” but a necessity in today’s information overload society.

Nobody has the time to listen to minutes—or hours—of explanations on what a product can do, or why it doesn’t have the specific item you asked for, or why it won’t be delivered on time.

With a simple search on the Internet, customers can discover the features of a new product, where their goods are, or what happened with the delivery they were expecting.

Brevity in Customer Service

It’s not enough to simply understand the need for brevity in customer service. You need to go deeper and figure out why it’s so difficult for you to get to the point. Brevity is a habit, the more you apply it, the easier becomes.

Seven Reasons Why Brevity is Not Applied in Customer Service

There are many reasons why brevity in customer service is not a standard yet, but these key contributors can be deadly if left unchecked.

Let’s take them one by one:

  1. Cowardice. You hide behind meaningless words and don’t have the guts to be clear and take a stand.
  2. Confidence. You are a know-it-all and, to your customers’ dismay, you cannot restrain yourself from explaining every painful detail.
  3. Callousness. You don’t respect people’s time. You start talking as if your customer has all the time in the world, and has nothing better to do than listen to your rant.
  4. Comfort. You let yourself get wordy with the customers who know you. Familiarity breeds contempt and lack of brevity.
  5. Confusion. You choose to think out loud when it’s still not clear to you what you are trying to say—a big mistake. People make judgments about you and your abilities. Be careful when and to whom you think out loud.
  6. Complication. You believe there are some things too complex to be simplified. When your customers want a simple answer, you need to give it to them. When they don’t get it, they lose patience and trust.
  7. Carelessness. You are often verbally sloppy and let your message get mixed up, leaving people frustrated.

Consider this a personal checklist of what you need to work on to become a lean communicator and a master of brevity in customer service. Ask yourself on a regular basis: “How often do I get to the point more quickly in my conversations with clients?”


Want to know more about being brief? Check out The Brief Practitioner, an online course from The Brief Lab that teaches executives how to avoid information overload and become lean, effective leaders and communicators.


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