There often arises a situation where a customer demands for something that you either do not offer or cannot provide. In such a scenario, you are left with no option but to say ‘no’. As a customer service best practice, you should do it politely. It is hard to please every client and there will always be ones who will find your product or service lacking in some aspect. When they bring it up to you, you will have to make sure that you have explored all possible solutions before coming to the final answer of ‘no’. They are likely to get disappointed, argue or become angry, so you need to stay calm and be polite about it as it is the most crucial element in such scenarios. Here are a few tips on saying ‘no’ to your clients without annoying them!
Your first plan of action is to choose words and phrases carefully and respond to a client quickly. However, the response should have reasonable time frame. Replying too quickly would make the clients think that you have not put in any effort to facilitate them. Likewise, a late response will only further aggravate the matter causing a business to lose clients. You have to make sure that your words are well phrased. Use empathetic tone to give a gesture that you care about their emotions. You always have to keep a calm demeanor and treat your clients with respect and politeness.
Once you have chosen positive words and phrases, the next thing to take into consideration is being completely honest with your clients. Everyone appreciates honesty even at the face of being denied something. It will help in understanding the situation at their end. For you, it will keep you away from over promising or providing false reasons. Your approach should be clear and precise. Clearly communicate what you are implying and repeat till they understand it. Make customers feel that you value their time and money. The last thing they want is their precious time not being given due value.
When you have to deny a client something, it is important that you explain to him/her why it had to be so. Any negative interaction can be averted with proper reasoning. It is quite possible that he/she may have only misunderstood or not understood a certain aspect of your product or service to begin with. If that is not the case, then your explanation will help in being forgiving towards your ‘no’. This will project a positive image of your business as clients would feel that you are being considerate to them. Hence they will always remember you as a brand that genuinely cares for them.
The last gesture of helpfulness you can give while saying ‘no’ to your clients is providing them with an alternative. This replacement may be a workaround for the problem they are facing or it may point them towards other businesses where they might be able to find what they are looking for. Even if they take their business elsewhere you should try to build goodwill with them by pointing them towards the right direction. This willingness to help will result in getting you word of mouth marketing. Going the extra mile even while saying ‘no’ will enhance the repute of your business.
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