13 Nov HOW TO SAY NO TO A CUSTOMER NICELY
Giving customers what they want all the time is not possible.
It would be impractical, at the same time unacceptable for businesses to accept every imaginable form of payment, or to suggest full refunds on anything and everything, or to make every single detail your users/customers suggest. One way or another, you are going to have to say “no” to customers.
Not only that, sometimes there are days when things go wrong like the servers are down and errors occur. Your customers can’t do what they need to do either for their businesses or for personal stuff and you have to bear the complaints and the bad news.
If you work in customer service, you are expected to serve. Your expected default answer to customers’ request will probably start with “Yes! And…”
While your goal is to provide help to the best of your ability, sometimes you have to tell them no for reasons a.) what customers ask is not possible or available, or b.) you know that accomplishing their demands could put your business at risk.
Eventhough customers are wrong, some of them demand you to treat them right. When it comes to saying no to the customer, you have to tread carefully because you might lose them permanently.
HERE ARE 5 THINGS TO REMEMBER BEFORE YOU SAY “NO” TO THE CUSTOMER
1. ASK FOR A CLARIFICATION
When customers are not definite on why they are dismayed, that is an opportunity for you to inquire about specifics. Either you will do something with that information or you won’t, it’s a win-win situation. They are flattered and happy that someone cares enough to listen to their opinion.
“We don’t have that, but could you tell me what you’re trying to achieve?”
On top of that, to get an understanding of the cause of the problem and what the person is trying to achieve can aid you to solve their problem. You can ask customers what they’re ultimately trying to accomplish when they have a request.
2. BE HONEST
It is very tempting to give in to customers request even if it’s not possible. It’s best to say no and apologize than to mislead customers and make false promises. You cannot say yes to every customer all the time. Be transparent to customers at the same time explain the reason why their request is not possible. This may make the customer irate, but in the end, they will appreciate your efforts and your honesty.
Moreover, it is necessary to deny a request as quickly as possible than to keep the customer waiting or giving them false hope when you know that what they are asking is not achievable. It will only frustrate them more because in the end their expectations are not met.
3. OFFER THE CLOSEST RESOLUTION/ALTERNATIVES
If you wouldn’t be able to give the customer what he or she really wants, the usual reaction is they get disappointed. However, you still have the chance to offer the customer a workaround or the closest alternative.
If you suggest to a customer a workaround or the closest alternative to what they are looking for, they will appreciate your efforts. They will feel that you are there to truly help them.
“That’s an interesting case, while that isn’t possible right now, you could try this workaround…”
4. REPLACE THE WORD “NO” WITH A POSITIVE LANGUAGE
There is a way to convey a clear “no” without using the word. Your choice of words always has an effect on customer satisfaction. Thus, always choose your words carefully.
Instead of “No, we don’t have that,” you can try to say phrases like, “While there’s no way for us to do that at present, we appreciate you taking the time to let us know what you are looking for. We value your feedback and will use any suggestions, feedback, comments, and complaints to help us improve our service.”
It’s not always about what you say, it’s about how you say it.
We are taught politeness when we were at a very young age and although we are not really mindful of it, it can be detrimental if we ignore it.
Manners still matter, especially when it comes to creating customer relationships. Encourage customer service representatives to be polite, courteous, and thoughtful while on the phone. Let your customers feel that you’ve done everything you can, but you cannot fulfill his or her request. The kindness of your employees can gain customer gratitude. The more polite you will be, the more satisfied your customer will be too. Possibly, customers will understand what the situation is and respect the company’s policy and limitations if you explain to him or her politely and with empathy.
When these are combined, your “NO” will sound as nice as a “YES”. Aside from that, it will also strengthen your relationship with the customers as well as the reputation of the business.
Always remember that people are twice as likely to talk about bad customer service experiences than they are to talk about good experiences. So, learn to say no in the nicest way possible.