Banned Words

5 Feb 2013

I've been working at a small software company recently, where the customer support team is three young guys who spend a lot of time of the phone.

I was really tickled to find this list of BANNED words, and had to ask for an explanation.

  • Mate
    It's a little too friendly. A lot of our customers are over sixty and they don't want to be matey with some young guy on the phone.
  • Bug
    We don't have bugs. Sometimes we have undocumented features, or unexpected outcomes. And sometimes we have to say "We'll get the developer to have a look at that" but we don't have any bugs. Bugs worry people.
  • Colleague
    Customer support are not allowed to say "I'll refer that to my colleague" because it makes us sound like some enormous heartless call centre in Swindon. We're small, and we want to make a feature out of being small and personal. So the support guys don't "refer the matter to a colleague"; instead they say "I'll ask Wes (or whoever) to take a look at this"
  • Obviously
    As soon as you say "Well, obviously..." you make people feel stupid. Obviously.