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I have seen the following line in mail replies from customer care executives -

Thanks for your patience

They write this when they are not yet ready with a desired solution. They write in the mail that it will be ready after some more time. Writing "Thanks for your patience" in such a mail seems like we are assuming the other person is patient, whereas he actually may not be, and instead, what is probably desired is to ask the person to be patient.

What would be a polite way of asking the same, knowing that the person desires the solution ASAP.

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closed as not constructive by tchrist, Robusto, Bravo, Daniel, MετάEd Dec 11 '12 at 4:50

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Don't ask for their patience at all. Give them believable assurances that their problem is being handled as quickly and efficiently as possible and give them an estimate of when a solution will be available; and then make sure you meet or beat the estimate. –  Jim Dec 10 '12 at 15:02
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"Thanks for your patience" is already considered a polite way to ask "Please be patient". I don't know if there's an official word for this form of presumptive thank you but it is quite common and accepted. –  Lynn Dec 10 '12 at 15:15
    
@Lynn - I don't want to be presumptive and so I am looking for an alternative way of asking. So, I am not looking for an alternative word for this "presumptive thank you". –  Sandeepan Nath Dec 10 '12 at 15:23
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Yeah, it's really presumptuous and offensive, and only people who liked to be told how to feel about this kind of patronization consider it acceptable. It is quite common, however. What I do is apologize for any inconvenience to them because they have to wait until the estimated solution date. I agree with Jim's advice. That's the best you can do. "We apologize for any inconvenience this problem may cause you. We're doing everything we can to solve it as quickly as possible, which we estimate will be January 14, 2013. When it is taken care of, we will certainly let you know." –  user21497 Dec 10 '12 at 15:49
    
It's not presumptive if you had already taken time and they have already been patient. In that case, and that's the more common case IMO, you're showing your appreciation for the patience they have already shown. –  David Schwartz Dec 11 '12 at 2:58

2 Answers 2

"Thank you for your patience" is the routine way to make it polite.

Yes, the same words in a different form could be considered presumptuous. Like I just had some charity call me and basically say, "thank you for donating" when I had not yet agreed to anything. I considered that presumptuous. But "Thank you for your patience" is a routine, polite form of "please be patient". It is considered to sound less demanding.

You could try to invent your own polite phrase. But there is much to be said for using the conventional phrasing. When you use the conventional phrase, people read it and accept it without thinking about it very much. If you invent your own phrase, they're more likely to say, "Hey, exactly what does he mean by that?" That is, whoever the first person was to say "thank you for your patience", maybe the people he said it to thought, "that's rather presumptuous, what makes him think I'm willing to be patient?" But now that it's been used a million times, few people think that. If you were to come up with some new phrase, people might actually think about what you said and what the literal words mean.

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If you are used to saying phrases like this as part of your job, you can just build up a rotating list that you use, starting with some along these lines:

Thank you for your patience.
I do appreciate your patience so far.
You've been patient so far, and this should take just another minute.
I know your time is valuable, so just bear with me another minute.
This should take just another minute, thanks for your patience so far.
Thanks for waiting.

No one will think you're sincere, but they might get annoyed if you use the same formulation several times in a row.

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