Customer service industry phrases

Improve Spoken English

Personally I’ve been working in various service industry positions for the better part of my working life:

  • Shop-assistant.
  • Bartender.
  • Technical Support Agent.

Been there, done that! ;-)

Having spent many years dealing with clients on a daily basis, I know only too well how important effective communication is when dealing with customers.

Not to mention getting your job in the first place!

I mean, do you think your future employer is going to hire you if your spoken English isn’t up to scratch and you don’t know how to greet your customer and ask them what they’d like you to do for them?

Also, considering that many companies will put you on probation before offering you a permanent position, it only stands to reason you should show great English communication skills when it comes to dealing with people.

After all, customers are the lifeblood of the company you represent, and your employer won’t hesitate hiring someone else if customers are struggling to understand you. If the customer service you provide isn’t good enough, why would they keep you, right?

So, would you like to brush up on your spoken English skills so that you can provide an outstanding customer service?

Well, I’m going to give you plenty of useful English phrases so that you can read them, speak them out loud, memorize them and then use them at work :!:

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Improve Spoken English


Well, for some strange reason, I just can’t write today. I don’t know what’s wrong with me. Then again, my oral fluency is up today for some strange reason, right? So, maybe I should record a video about it, and upload it onto my YouTube channel for my audience to see. Yep! I’d better do that!

Hi, guys. It’s me, Robby, from!

I’d better turn off the music… And welcome back to my video blog! Today’s subject is quite a funny thing that I’ve observed on numerous occasions. Basically, whenever my fluency, my overall fluency is up, my written fluency goes down. Basically, my ability to create written content diminishes for some strange reason.

So, basically, my observation is that my ability to write and to read is not the same. Whenever one of them goes up, the other one goes down and vice versa. Why it is, why it’s happening, I haven’t got a clue, right? It’s just that it happens and I’ve observed this phenomenon occurring time and time again over the years.

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Relationship between written and spoken English is weird

Improve Spoken English

Over the years I’ve been working in a number of jobs where I’ve been dealing with both non-native and native English speakers.

  • My work colleagues.
  • My superiors – managers, team leaders, supervisors – you name it!
  • Our customers as well.

Quite naturally, I’ve been constantly communicating with them.

  • I’ve been engaging in all the necessary work-related verbal communication.
  • I’ve been chatting with them during my break times.
  • I’ve been participating in meetings.
  • I’ve been sending dozens of e-mails a day to a lot of different people.

Also, I’ve been running this blog since 2007 – you can do the math! – and I’m constantly dealing with my blog visitors e-mails and inquiries, not to mention my Fluency Star clients I coach via Skype.

So, as you can imagine, I’ve made a lot of interesting observations in terms of people’s ability to speak and write.

Did you know, for example, that judging by some native English speakers’ writing style, you’d think they’re just beginner English learners?

Not understanding what a native English speaker has written

Yes, it’s totally true and I’ve come across such people time and time again! And to be totally honest with you, sometimes their writing has been so bad that it’s made it next to impossible to figure out what they’ve actually meant in their e-mails :!:

So, would you like to read more about my interesting observations in relation to English speaking, writing, non-native and native English speakers?

Then find a comfortable seat, make yourself a cup of coffee, and keep reading this article! ;-)

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Using dictation to improve English

Improve Spoken English

I have to be totally honest with you guys and come clean on something.

I’ve never done purposeful DICTATION with the sole purpose of improving my English!

For those unaware – dictation is exercise whereby you copy someone’s speech by writing it down.

But it’s not really odd considering that I used to follow the path of the traditional text-book based English studies for a very long time, and as you can imagine, there’s no-one speaking when you open the textbook.

You’re just required to fill in gaps in exercises and to provide written answers to questions.

Over the years my English writing improved to a high standard quite naturally, and when I realized that I’d been neglecting my spoken English, I started engaging in spoken English practice whereby I’d rather copy and mimic other English speakers by SPEAKING OUT LOUD instead of writing it down.

Well, come to think of it – I actually have done a certain amount of dictation when transcribing my own YouTube videos, but you can’t really count that as a proper dictation exercise. The reason being – I didn’t do it as an English-improving activity, I simply needed to transcribe my videos so that I could publish them on my blog.

Proper dictation is done when you purposefully LISTEN and then you transfer what you hear in written form thus improving both your English listening and writing skills.

And this one, my friends, is the first benefit of dictation! ;-)

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What books would you suggest to improve spoken English

Improve Spoken English

This is a question I get asked quite often when people contact me – “Robby, I want to improve my spoken English. What books would you suggest?”

The moment I read the question, I just can’t help but to think:

“Why on Earth are you looking for a BOOK if it’s your SPOKEN English you want to improve?”

To me it’s quite obvious that no amount of books will help you on your journey to become a fluent English speaker.

If you want, we can do an experiment.

Just give me your address and I’ll send a trailer-load of books to you and I bet you’re not going to gain an ounce of spoken English fluency after reading them all :!:

You don’t believe me?

Well, I’m a living proof of that – there was a time when I was literally devouring English fiction books and as a result I achieved a complete reading fluency.

And guess what?

I was still struggling with basic communication for the simple reason that reading books didn’t train my MOUTH :!:

Basically the issue is the following:

You may have the BEST English learning books and textbooks in the world, but they’re not going to make any difference to your ability to speak unless you PRACTICE YOUR SPOKEN ENGLISH…

which brings us to the REAL question:

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In this video I’m interviewing Paul and Rachael from and we’re looking at the following TOEFL related questions:

  1. What TOEFL is all about?
  2. Is TOEFL the American counterpart of IELTS?
  3. When is TOEFL the right option for you?
  4. Is it possible to score a high mark in TOEFL just by improving your overall English skills through full English immersion?
  5. Is writing is the most important skillset necessary to pass TOEFL?
  6. What study tools are the best for practicing reading and listening skills?
  7. What do the speakers sound like in the TOEFL listening section?
  8. How long does the speaking part of TOEFL last?
  9. Is it possible to achieve your target TOEFL score if you’re not orally that fluent in English?
  10. How exactly is the student expected to perform during the TOEFL speaking part?
  11. How is grammar accessed during the TOEFL test?
  12. Is it necessary for students to focus on grammar studies predominantly when preparing for TOEFL?

Links mentioned during the interview:

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Improve Spoken English


Hi guys!

It’s Robby here from and welcome back to my video blog!

In today’s video, I’m going to touch upon a subject that I haven’t actually spoken about before, namely – the fact that you or me or any other foreign speaker for that matter,

We’re all judged based on our spoken English performance!

Non native English speakers are judged by their spoken English

When we meet with other people, when we go about our daily business, when we communicate with others, it’s the spoken fluency that we are being judged upon.

It only makes sense because people don’t see – they can’t – there is no obvious indicator of how well we understand them. People can’t immediately see how good readers or writers we are. But, what they can see, what they can hear, to be more specific, is the way we speak!

So, it only makes sense that we are being judged on the basis of our ability to speak with other people. Yet, at the same time, the traditional English teaching setting facilitates all those other aspects of our English, namely, our ability to understand, and write, and listen, but spoken fluency has always taken the back seat.

And on top of that, all those exams like TOEFL and IELTS, they all focus predominantly on your ability to understand and provide written answers.

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Recording Your English Speech is CRUCIAL!

by Robby on February 10, 2015

Record Your English Speech to Improve

Improve Spoken English

If you check out my YouTube channel, you’ll see there’s hundreds of videos published over the course of a number of years.

That’s countless hours spent practicing my spoken English in front of a camcorder.

Now, I’ve always been talking about how important doing spoken English self-practice is, but up until now I haven’t touched upon the importance of RECORDING your speech on a camcorder :!:

Well, I have mentioned it in passing a good few times, and I’ve also listed it on this article called “5 Ways to Practice Your Spoken English if You’re Desperate For English Conversations!”, but I haven’t explicitly told my blog readers that I attribute a lot of my personal fluency development to recording my speech on a camcorder.

Here’s a few reasons as to why recording your spoken English does wonders to your English fluency and is more effective than just speaking out loud:

  • It forces you to speak more fluently;
  • It provides feedback;
  • The camcorder lens acts as a real person listening to you!

Want to find out more about it?

Then read the rest of this article and I’ll reveal all my realizations to you! ;-)

Just think about it – you’ll get to pick my brain and extract the very essence of my knowledge.

Knowledge that I’ve acquired over the course of a long career of YouTube publishing as a foreign English speaker recording videos in English.

It just doesn’t get better than that, so keep reading, my friend!

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Connecting Your Ideas in Written English

by Robby on February 8, 2015

Connecting Your Ideas in Written English

When you are writing in English, there are two main components that you must achieve in order to express yourself well:

  • First, you must have strong, clear ideas.
  • And second, you must present these ideas in a well-organized fashion.

However, finding the right words and phrases to connect your ideas can be challenging. If you struggle to come up with the right transitions in your writing, don’t worry: we’ve provided you with a cheat sheet for various popular transitional words and phrases in English!

These phrases are useful connectors that will make your writing flow in a natural and organized way. They’re also key phrases to use in the writing sections of English exams like the IELTS or TOEFL.

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Improve Spoken English


Hello, everyone!

I’m Robby from English Harmony and welcome back to my video blog!

In today’s video, I’m going to address a particular issue that has been raised by a number of my customers and some of my Fluency Star coaching clients.

And, to be honest with you, what prompted me to record this particular video was a comment I got from one of my blog readers, and that particular person says that he or she – I’m not really sure – they have been practicing their spoken English for around four years, half an hour a day at least, which is quite a lot!

It’s quite sufficient to improve your English to a great degree over the period of four years to be honest with you my friends, right?

So, basically, they’ve been doing that, but they still find it difficult to implement the phraseology and collocations they learn in those practice sessions. So, the basic issue is:

How to make sure that you can actually use all those collocations as you go about your daily spoken English practice?

And, furthermore, for those who might be finding themselves in situations where they have to speak with other people on a regular basis, it begs another question:

How you can actually use all those collocations and phraseology in real life conversations?

And let me tell you right up front – this is something I haven’t I guess specified previously on my blog and on my videos, which is quite surprising considering I’ve been running this YouTube channel for a good few years, right?

So, basically, the thing I have to mention is that there’s two types of collocations, right, two types.

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