Acknowledging Statements for the Contact Center

Customer Engagement Team December 17, 2021

The words your contact center agents use when speaking with customers have a powerful impact, for better or worse. Using the right words is key to providing excellent customer service.

That’s why it’s crucial for your agents to embrace the art of acknowledging customer statements.

Acknowledging statements involves actively listening to customers and validating their concerns, questions, or requests. This might entail an agent paraphrasing or summarizing what a customer says to demonstrate they are listening and striving to understand their needs. For example, an agent could say, “I understand you are calling about the charges on your last bill,” after a customer explains an invoicing issue.

Acknowledgment statements for customer service involve more than just kind words. Simple acknowledgment statements allow agents to communicate with customers in a way that expresses regret for their problem and encouragement that a solution is possible. They demonstrate engagement, build rapport, and help efficiently resolve issues.


The Art of Acknowledging Statements

For most of us, it’s easy to conjure emotion when we’ve done something we regret or a friend tells us about something that’s gone wrong in their life. But since contact center agents are not directly responsible for the customers’ problems, generating empathy isn’t always easy. And, while following scripted statements works in many scenarios, your agents will have to go off-script from time to time.

That’s where acknowledging statements come in. More than saying, “I understand,” they involve summarizing details like account information, the specific issue, and any vital context the customer provides. Providing validation sets a positive tone by reassuring the customer that they’ve been heard and a solution is in the works.

Coaching your agents to use acknowledgment words to deal with volatile situations heads off customer frustration and establishes trust. Customers who feel acknowledged are more likely to highly rate interactions regarding satisfaction.

On the flip side, failing to acknowledge customer statements can be detrimental – customers may feel ignored by having to repeat information and grow angry. This wastes time and damages the customer experience.

Empathy is expressing feeling – does that come through in your script? “I understand how you feel, that must be very frustrating…” “Many of our customers felt better after trying…” etc.

One coaching method that has worked in the past is to ask agents about a time when they received poor service, or bought a product that didn’t work. Encourage them to remember how that experience made them feel, then channel those feelings into their responses.


Types of Acknowledging Statements

Here are some examples of acknowledgment statements and why they are effective in customer service:

  • Simple acknowledgment – Demonstrates attentive listening by acknowledging and reflecting back a customer’s concern or issue. Example: “I see your order was delayed.”
  • Empathetic – Connects with the customer’s feelings by communicating that the agent understands how their experience makes them feel. Examples: “I understand this must be frustrating for you.” | “I realize billing errors can be confusing.”
  • Confirmation – Confirms their request to verify details and avoid miscommunication. Example: “So, to confirm, you’d like to cancel the subscription.”
  • Appreciation – Shows the agent values the customer’s time and cooperation. Example: “Thank you for your patience with this issue.”
  • Next steps – Outlines clear expectations and a follow-up course of action. Example: “Let me look into our inventory levels and get back to you.”
  • Apology – Takes ownership and conveys regret. Example: “I sincerely apologize for the trouble this has caused.”
  • Gratitude acknowledgment – Shows you value customer input. Example: “We appreciate you taking the time to provide feedback.”
  • Problem-solving – Demonstrates active listening and diagnostic thinking. Example: “Based on the error message, this sounds like a network connectivity issue.”
  • Reassurance – Gives confidence in a positive resolution. Example: “This purchase is covered by our 100% satisfaction guarantee.”

These acknowledgment statement examples are time-tested ways to demonstrate compassion, engagement, and empathy and, above all, build trust with customers. Acknowledging statement best practices are critical to a high-functioning contact center that delivers premium customer experiences.


Techniques for Effective Acknowledgement

Three of the most effective techniques agents can use to effectively acknowledge and connect with customers include:

  • Active listening
  • Understanding customer needs
  • Sincerity in tone of voice

Let’s examine each skill more in-depth.


Active Listening

Active listening skills go a long way in strengthening customer relationships. What does this look like in practice? It starts with letting the customer finish speaking before responding. Another active listening technique is to ask clarifying questions or have customers restate information to confirm details and prevent misunderstandings.

Active listening might also include paraphrasing what the customer said back to them using empathetic language. This offers validation and confirms agents have all the facts straight. For example, you might coach your agents to respond to customer complaints by saying something like, “I can understand why receiving a damaged item would be troubling.”


Understanding Customer Needs 

Train your agents to validate the emotions your customers express to show they understand their needs. That might look something like this in practice: “I don’t blame you for being upset about the billing error. I would feel the same way.” This assures a customer that their feelings are heard and valid.

It’s also important to focus responses on the customer’s specific scenario, not company policies. An agent could say, “I will help you resolve this today,” rather than, “All sales are final.” This puts the focus on finding a mutually satisfactory solution.


 Sincerity in Tone of Voice 

Sincerity is important – but it must be authentic. That involves not only the words an agent uses but the tone of voice in which they are expressed. Customers are smart. They’ll see right through over-scripted expressions of support delivered in a monotone voice. They’ll recognize it for what it is: someone just doing their job.

We’ve all talked with a customer service agent and heard lines like this:

  • “Thank you for calling ABC Industries. This is How can I brighten your day today?”
  • “How can I provide you with excellent service today?”
  • “How can I make you feel valued and be of help to you today?”

These lines come from actual contact center scripts. But it takes the right type of agent to deliver them and make them work.

Instead, train your agents to use natural, conversational language and a sincere tone of voice. This is also where empathy works wonders. Agents who approach interactions with the customer’s point of view foremost in mind will naturally come off as more sincere.

One coaching method that has worked in the past is to ask agents about a time they received poor service or bought a product that didn’t work. Encourage them to remember how that experience made them feel, then channel those feelings into their responses.


Handling Challenging Situations

As many agents, managers, and customers know, the world of customer service isn’t always perfect. Challenging situations often arise – and that’s when agents and managers must rely on their expert tools and professionalism.

It’s best for agents to stay calm in these scenarios and actively listen without getting defensive. This includes letting customers speak and vent their frustrations. For example, saying, “I understand this situation is upsetting,” shows empathy.

Additionally, a patient, compassionate tone goes a long way. Even if the customer raises their voice, agents should keep speaking softly. Say, “I apologize for the poor service you received. Here’s what we are going to do to get this resolved.”

Note the use of “let’s” and “we.” That puts the caller and agent on the same side of the issue, rather than the agent coming across only as a representative of the company that disappointed the caller. It’s subtle, but it does make a difference.

 Choose Collaboration Over Confrontation 

When emotions run high, agents should take a moment to acknowledge before responding. For example, they might say, “I hear how angry this warranty issue has made you. Let me pull up your account details so I can better understand the situation.”

If they interrupt, agents can politely interject after the customer finishes. “I know this is a complicated issue. Please allow me to finish explaining the refund policy, and then I will gladly address any other concerns.”

Provide reassurance you are on their side. “I appreciate you taking the time to explain the billing errors. I will work diligently to get these corrected for you right away.”

Acknowledging tense customer interactions and assuring them you’re on their side demonstrates professionalism. With patience and empathy, agents can redirect the conversation to seek constructive, collaborative solutions.


Measuring the Impact of Acknowledgement

So, how do you measure acknowledgement’s impact on customer satisfaction?

Quantitative metrics like handle time, satisfaction scores, and resolution rates can help track trends. Qualitative factors like call reviews and customer feedback provide insight into areas like active listening, empathy, and tone.

Capturing this data across messaging channels can help identify training needs, track the performance of your agents, and inform goal-setting. Your team’s goal should be consistent, meaningful acknowledgment.

While qualitative factors matter most, quantitative data gives visibility to guide improvement. Tracking acknowledgment key performance indicators (KPIs) and responses in a customer engagement platform helps your team deliver excellent, empathetic customer service.



Providing exemplary customer service starts with acknowledging statements. Pairing this practice with active listening, empathy, and validation builds trust and satisfaction. Contact center managers can further boost performance by quantifying these interactions with Verint’s actionable analytics to optimize agent performance and take a data-driven approach to customer service.

Verint’s Contact Center as a Service (CCaaS) platform, with real-time speech analytics and machine learning, unlocks a deeper understanding of acknowledgment statement best practices. By benchmarking top performers, identifying gaps, and guiding targeted training, Verint empowers brands to connect on an emotional level.

Don’t just resolve issues – transform experiences with Verint’s AI-powered solutions. Maximize agent empathy and exceed customer expectations. Contact Verint today to learn more.



What is an example of an acknowledging statement?

Here are examples of acknowledgement statements that a contact center agent could use:

  • “I understand why this is upsetting. I would feel the same way. Here’s what we are going to do to get this resolved.” This validates the customer’s feelings and assures them a solution is coming.
  • “OK, let me make sure I have all the details right.” This is a way of summarizing the situation to show you’re listening. It also helps ensure you’re getting the details right.
  • “Yes, I can see why you need to resolve this today. Let’s see what we can do to get this fixed.” This is a strong acknowledging statement because it empathizes with your customer while showing a sense of urgency.