Is There Anything Else I Can Help You With?

Somewhere way back when, I had called a company for phone support and at the end of a very friendly support call, the agent asked “Is there anything else I can help you with?”  At the time I remember thinking, “Wow, thanks for asking me that.”  I immediately went back to our call center and began requiring that they ask this at the end of support calls.

Fast forward about 8 years and I have heard many, many different arguments for and against this simple phrase from members of our customer service team.  Some agents will say it’s awkward, others will say there just isn’t an opportunity to ask and others will use the phrase but it’s more a way of pushing customers off the phone.  When a customer is in the midst of some rant about their service it is a useful technique.  Oh wait, you’re not supposed to use it with that intent.

As you can see, “Is there anything else I can help you with” is a loaded phrase and the way you use it is so much more powerful than the fact that you used it.  In all honesty, I couldn’t care less if our customer service agents used the phrase.  I really couldn’t.  What I care about it that our agents are giving the customer all of the time that they need to ask questions and work through any problems during that single support encounter.  What I care about is that our agents are empowering our customers, making a personal emotional connection and helping them better understand our system so they will be better equipped to solve their own problems.  What I care about is that our agents are anticipating problems the customer may have with our system before the customer even has a problem with it.

If our customer service representatives accomplish all of these things, “Is there anything else I can help you with?” is really just the representative saying, “I have given this call my very best effort and after looking at your account, I feel that you should be very satisfied with our service moving forward.  I have hit a home run on this call and unless some unforeseen issue arises, you should be a happy customer and you should not have to call support again for a long time but if you do, I’m here and happy to have another opportunity to make your day.”

Jeremy Watkin is the Director of Customer Experience at FCR, the premiere provider of outsourced call center and business process solutions. He has more than 17 years of experience as a customer service and experience professional. He is co-founder of the Customer Service Life blog and a regular contributor. Jeremy has been recognized many times for his thought leadership. Follow him on Twitter and LinkedIn for more awesome customer service and experience insights.

17 comments

  • Wow, you summed it up with this:

    “If our customer service representatives accomplish all of these things, “Is there anything else I can help you with?” is really just the representative saying, “I have given this call my very best effort and after looking at your account, I feel that you should be very satisfied with our service moving forward. I have hit a home run on this call and unless some unforeseen issue arises, you should be a happy customer and you should not have to call support again for a long time but if you do, I’m here and happy to have another opportunity to make your day.””

    And, this is a great question for forgetful customers who may have something else to ask on the tip of their tongue and forgot it—and this makes the customer feel they are not rushed, the platform is open for them to ask anything else they need!

  • People say this to me after I have said thanks and goodbye.
    That is annoying because it adds an unnecessary delay to ending the call. If I had something else I would have said so. It also comes across as terribly rehearsed and machine like.

    • Jenny Dempsey

      Hey Sean,

      Thanks for your comment. Such a good point! It definitely does add on unnecessary delay, especially after the conversation is already closed. Goodbye means goodbye! 🙂

      • Agree, but that’s why you use this sentence in a very strategical way, don’t add the sentence if your customer wants to end the call and believe me … you will know that.

  • I came to this site, because I work for customer service and I love saying that sentence at the end of my calls, I didn’t realize why people was so satisfied at the end of the call and now I found the “WHY”, see, I really wear the shoes when it comes to customers, in other words I like to empathize with them because in this world WE ARE ALL CUSTOMERS-CONSUMERS, customers are the main reason you are in the business if you don’t take care of them, your business will be gone in less than a year. Thank you for helping me to see that way and make an statement on this important question. Is there anything else I can help you with?

    • Thank you for sharing Natalya! I’m glad you agree with me on this one. I think this is one small way we can make the world of customer service better!

  • Its a bad idea to annoy the customer with this silly question, because usually you have already been on the phone a long time solving your problem. I think the phone agent hates having to ask it too.
    It usually leaves the customer frustrated even more, especially if they haven’t solved your problem.

    • Thank you Larry. You definitely have a good point. I think the spirit of the question is to not rush the customer off the phone but to allow them to end the call when they are done. I have relaxed on requiring our customer service team to ask this question at the end of every call.

  • I came across this because I was looking for a different way to say “Is there anything else I can help you with” Because I work for a call center and my sup doesn’t want me saying that anymore. He says it’s been used to much and no body really hears it anymore. Especially our QA. Any ideas on a better way to close a call?

    • Joann, thank you for your comment! I have softened on this a bit over the last year. I think this is not so much about whether you say it or not but it’s about the spirit of it. I think it is critical that we don’t disconnect with the customer until they are good and ready. I want to avoid rushing the customer off the phone at all costs. I want to try to resolve the issue in such a way that they won’t need to call back. This means potentially anticipating needs they didn’t know they had. I hope this helps! Have a terrific day.

  • Ritchie Stirling

    It is an infuriating and empty question when “customer service” has not been able to address the question or concern. Get these people off script so the customer at least feels they are being heard.
    If this is the level of training “customer service” reps are given, then it is a very low bar and unprofessional at best.

  • Perhaps you could simply say “Anything else, (name)?”

  • Here in mexico, when we are contacted by u.s customers in my work, we use to ask… Anything ele i can assist you with?
    The ¨Help¨word sometimes make the people feel like fool or ignorant about the subject. It´s jut a way to let them feel we´re here to assit you. Just my opinion!

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