Customer management

Customer management: How to say no to a customer without ruining relationships

How to say no to a customer? Many times a refusal denotes greater professionalism than blind condescension. Here we have 5 tips for customer management and learn how to “say no” to customers in the right way.

Even if saying no to a customer is always rather risky, willy-nilly, in some situations it is really impossible to satisfy certain requests: either because the expressed need is not technically feasible or because you are faced with a claim that goes beyond the classic procedures company, when the only possible solution is to respond with a refusal, one must have the courage to do so while knowing how to maintain as friendly and helpful an attitude with the referent as possible.

Here is a series of valid tips to learn how to say no to a customer by finding the right words and ways so that your partner does not take offense or, worse still, does not decide to go elsewhere in the hope of receiving a better service: a set of valuable suggestions to put into practice every day with the aim of maintaining good relations with the public, regardless of whether or not you succeed in satisfying the needs expressed.

Customer management

#1 – Show empathy

Knowing how to say no to a customer also means knowing how to put oneself in the role of the other party and being able to understand and value his motivations, needs and feelings. Beyond denial, it is necessary to understand the needs that drive the request.

When sensations, moods and motivations are understood, the answer, although negative, may be much more genuine and empathetic, thus avoiding treating the issue as a mere problem.

#2 – Choose words wisely

If it is true that, in customer management, not being willing to fulfill a certain request can cause disdain and dissatisfaction, it is also equally true that (in most cases) by denying one’s support with kindness a lot of negative reactions are reduced a priori.

Many customer care manuals often report 5 rough vocabulary tips …

  • Use terms with positive connotations (without clearly being false or overly compliant);
  • Never blame or attack the customer with our response;
  • Be concise but considerate (too dry responses can often seem unkind);
  • Always apologizing if necessary without hesitation (there is nothing worse than being obviously wrong and not wanting to admit it);
  • If an alternative solution is possible, it is necessary to present it in the best way and with clarity.

#3 – Justify and understand the reason for the refusal

Starting from the assumption that, for a client, it is already difficult enough to digest the simple fact of being told no, the thing becomes even intolerable when the denial, besides not being in any way understood, even remains unjustified.

The first rule to make someone accept a refusal is certainly to motivate them, providing the reasons that make a certain request unsatisfactory and proposing similar solutions as an alternative.

#4 – Why you should have a manual with guidelines

Especially when many respond to customers it is very important that the tone and style of the answers are as aligned as possible. It could be very useful to write a short list of how to deal with customers and interlocutors in which there are some examples of denial accompanied by the reasons that lead to refuse the request and by the recommended terms to better arrange one’s interlocutor. A useful handbook for all the members of the corporate team who come into direct contact with the public every day.

#5 – The hidden strength of “no”

Knowing how to say no to a customer in the right way by demonstrating courtesy and kindness can be the ingredient to establish an even more solid and lasting relationship.

A refusal by phone, in person, by chat or by mail, if wisely managed will bring the customer a positive experience often able to fill the negative gap created by the refusal itself!

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