Table of Contents

Promo message here

Customer experience with Jeff Mowatt

Building Trust with Customers: Jeff Mowatt

In this podcast episode, George Torok interviews Jeff Mowatt, a customer experience strategist and business speaker.

They discuss the importance of word choice, listening, and building trust in customer service interactions. Jeff emphasizes the need to choose words carefully to enhance trust and differentiate service.

They also explore the impact of social media on trust-building and effective communication.

Jeff provides examples and tips on how to handle customer complaints, exceed expectations, and use language effectively.

They conclude by highlighting the power of the phrase "sounds like" in connecting with others and encourage listeners to implement these strategies.


The importance of choosing the right words [00:02:46]
Jeff explains how choosing the right words can enhance trust and differentiate customer service.

Mistakes in customer service language [00:03:53]
Jeff gives an example of using the wrong words in customer service, such as "calm down" instead of acknowledging the customer's frustration.

Being a trusted advisor vs. trying to be a friend [00:07:17]
Jeff discusses the importance of listening and understanding the underlying needs of customers to build trust and become a trusted advisor rather than just trying to be a friend.

Creating Trust through Transparency [00:13:20]
The importance of being transparently honest about what you don't know to build trust.

The Power of Understatement [00:14:25]
Using understatement in communication to be more relatable and trustworthy.

Word Choices and Building Trust [00:18:37]
The impact of word choices, cliches, and using the word "helpful" in building trust in email and online conversations.

Establishing Expectations [00:23:40]
Setting up expectations upfront and exceeding them through word choice and trust-building.

Recovering Trust [00:24:51]
Using language to address customer complaints, establish fairness, and exceed expectations to rebuild trust.

Using Names Instead of Sir/Ma'am [00:32:04]
Avoiding the use of sir/ma'am and instead using customers' names to create a more personalized and respectful interaction.

The Power of "Sounds Like" [00:35:23]
Using the phrase "sounds like" to connect with others, listen effectively, and understand their needs.

Building and Maintaining Trust in Customer Service [00:34:04]
Tips for customer service providers during the COVID-19 pandemic to differentiate themselves and prioritize trust-building.

The Two Most Powerful Words in Connecting with Others [00:36:32]
The importance of using the phrase "sounds like" to paraphrase and show understanding, leading to stronger connections and receptiveness.

Jeff Mowatt customer experience expert

Building Trust and Conveying Value in Customer Service: A Conversation with Jeff Mowatt

As a podcaster, I have the privilege of engaging with thought leaders from various industries. In one of my recent episodes, I had the pleasure of hosting Jeff Mowatt, a customer experience strategist and a hall of fame business speaker. Jeff is known for his honesty and his unique approach to customer service. In our conversation, we delved into the role of words and listening in building trust and conveying value in customer service interactions.

The Power of Words in Customer Service

Jeff's role as a customer experience strategist involves helping people choose their words carefully to enhance trust and differentiate their service. He believes that the right choice of words can make price less relevant in a customer's decision-making process. Jeff gave an example of how the wrong choice of words can destroy trust in customer service interactions, emphasizing the importance of the message we intend to convey.

We also discussed the concept of being friendly in customer service. While friendliness is important, Jeff suggests that the goal should be to become a trusted advisor rather than trying to be someone's friend. This involves listening and understanding the underlying needs of customers.

The Role of Social Media in Building Trust

Our conversation also touched on the role of social media in customer service. Jeff pointed out that having a large number of friends or likes doesn't necessarily translate to real business relationships or conveying value. He referred to my definition of marketing as conveying value and creating awareness, emphasizing the need to connect with customers on what's important to them.

We also discussed the importance of being transparently honest about what one doesn't know, as it creates a sense of authenticity and trustworthiness. We highlighted the power of understatement and avoiding overused cliches and absolutes in language, as it can undermine credibility.

The Importance of Setting and Exceeding Expectations

Jeff emphasized the power of word choice in establishing trust and exceeding customer expectations. He suggests that instead of making vague promises like "we'll get it to you within 24 hours," it is better to say something like "I'll do my best to get it to you this afternoon." By doing so, you build trust with the customer and have the opportunity to exceed their expectations.

Jeff provided an example of how to handle a customer complaint. Instead of simply offering a 10% discount, he suggests asking the customer what they think would be fair. This approach allows the customer to express their expectations, and you can then exceed them.

The Power of "Sounds Like"

One of the most powerful phrases in building and maintaining trust with customers, according to Jeff, is "sounds like." This simple phrase forces us to paraphrase and demonstrate our comprehension, making others more receptive to our expertise. Jeff considers these two words, "sounds like," to be the most powerful in connecting with others.


In our conversation, Jeff Mowatt shared valuable insights on how to build trust and convey value in customer service.

His advice on the power of words, setting and exceeding expectations, and the use of the phrase "sounds like" can be instrumental in enhancing customer service interactions. For more of Jeff's tips, you can visit his website,

Remember, the goal is not just to deliver a service, but to become a trusted advisor to your customers.

And as always, don't forget to like, comment, and share the podcast for more practical tips on delivering your intended messages.