When You Don't Understand Your Customer, This Is What I Want You to Say

customer support across languages

During the Q & A segments of my workshops, there are times when I need help understanding the participant or their question. Or I may need time to think through the best way to answer the question. In these situations, I gracefully ask for clarity or the person to repeat the question. I ask for what I need without fear or shame, and you can do this, too, when you don't understand your customer.


Try these phrases when you don't understand your customer:


  • "Sorry, I didn't quite catch that. Would you mind repeating that?"
  • "I want to make sure I fully understand your issue. Can you please clarify your concern or provide more information?"
  • "What I think I heard you say is __________, correct?"
  • "I'm sorry, but I'm having difficulty understanding your concern. Can you please provide more details or explain it differently?"
  • "I apologize for the confusion. Could you please rephrase your question or concern so I can better assist you?"
  • "Can you repeat that last part again, please?"
  • "I didn't catch that. Would you mind repeating that last part?"


It's okay if you don't understand your customer. It happens to all of us - with friends, co-workers, and customers. All you have to do is politely ask your customer to repeat or clarify things.

If you need help preparing agents for supporting customers across languages, check out my LinkedIn Learning Course: Customer Service - How to Deliver Support Across Languages.

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