Words Customers hate: Best, Guarantee, Case studies, Details


There is more content online than we can consume. Much of that content is curated. Therefore, many concepts are repeated, becoming annoying to the eyes and ears of your customers. So why exactly do customers hate specific words? Simply put, the answer lies in the value proposition.

The words best, guarantee, case studies, and details do nothing to help make a sale.

Let’s start with the word best. The best service, the best candy, the best accountant, the best dentist—we all know that the best doesn’t solve a problem. Best also doesn’t tell a consumer anything about your business. Customer problems are specific, and they require attention. Customers love to hear about the solution you offer, not the fact that they are getting the best something in some industry.

Customers don’t shop for categories—they shop for real problems and need real solutions. Every business owner has a story.

Ask yourself these questions:
  • What is the value proposition that sets you apart from the competition?
  • What do you do differently?
  • Do you treat customers better?
  • Do you spend more time getting to know your customer?
  • Everyone hates dentist visits, so if you are a dentist how do you solve this problem? Saying you work with nervous patients doesn’t solve the whole problem. Explain your process.
  • Great customer service is built on trust. How can your customer trust you?
  • Do you build relationships with customers? Explain how.

Work on your value proposition and separate yourself from your competitors. Continuously develop your product and service.

The second word that can raise your customer’s eyebrows is guaranteed. Guarantee is an empty word most marketers use. It has lost its meaning and power and become a hated word.

Try these phrases instead:
  • If we don’t satisfy you 100%, we don’t take your money.
  • We do it right the first time. That’s a promise.

You still need to provide assurance and look confident when selling your services and products. Find a more authentic way to express your guarantee.

Case studies are usually offered in a B2B environment. They are quite useful in the final stages of lead generation, especially when a client asks for more information. Sometimes, however, companies miss the fact that case studies needs to have similarities with their client’s industry, location, and problems. Avoid using case studies as a quick way to provide more information.

What words can you use instead?
  • Client/Customer/Patient stories
  • Client/Customer/Patient spotlight
  • Client/Customer experience

Interact with knowledge and value. Almost 30% of customers switch companies because they’re annoyed by the lack of employee knowledge. That is a significant number for you to consider.  What does it mean? You should make every effort to educate your employees about how your customers can engage, and achieve their goals with your services and products.

Details. This word sounds like a long, dull list. It even implies risk. Time-consuming consumption of product details can cost you a customer. Instead of details, call this section helpful information, education, or insights. Customers don’t like a business that doesn’t provide enough information, but they also want to know that you value their time. Make an effort and include information in various formats. For example,  create short video tutorials. Infographics also work well.

Do everything you can to avoid these three words within your landing page, CTAs, website, and in your final contracts. Stop guessing what works for your audience. As a small business owner, you should run A/B tests on the language and sales copy of your website. Make sure your language style aligns across all communication channels, for the greatest influence. Yes, this includes over the phone.

Remember:  Be helpful, be authentic, and be original.


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Alisa Makowski

Alisa Makowski

Alisa lives and breathes marketing, it runs in her blood, that and coffee. With over 15 years of experience in traditional and online marketing, which include winning a Lennox Marketing award in 2009, a Shorty Award in 2015 (for social media), she's the creative director at Amaze Digital. If she ever actually takes a break from working, she likes to run and enjoys great food from top chefs.

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