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Brilliant Customer Service Part 1 : How To Say No!

And still wowing the customer ...

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Have you ever wondered what makes for brilliant customer service? If you are customer-facing, or your business is, then this series of blog posts is for you ...

Brilliant customer service means knowing how to say no!

Brilliant customer service means knowing how to say no!

copyright: racorn / 123rf

A few years back I wrote a book called Brilliant Customer Service and you can still get it on Amazon. Over the next few weeks, I will be sharing some of the secrets on how to really 'wow' your customers.

In this age of more and more automation, and robots becoming part of the customer experience, when they interact with a real person it should be a positive experience. The one word a customer doesn't want to hear is no, yet sometimes you have to say it and there are ways to make it easier for the customer to take so you retain the goodwill and your credibility.

"Using Y.E.S to say no!"

This is a simple acronym that will help to remember the key techniques for saying no and it really does work. It comes with a health warning that what you say must be genuine and you must always have the customers interests at heart and not your own.

  • YOU - Give them a bit of you! Create a connection, and do anything you can to show that you are understanding, caring and appreciative. Use statements like, "I appreciate this is not what you want to hear", "I understand this is disappointing" and "I am sorry that we can't get you absolutely what you want this time". Make sure your vocal tone and body language match the meaning of your words and be very careful not to use any blocking language.

  • EXPLAIN - Give them the reasons why you are saying no and be honest and absolute. If you can blame it on a thirty party (only if it's true) they are more likely to accept it. For example, "We don't have any size 14's available at the moment, because of this terrible weather we haven't had our normal delivery in."

  • SOLUTION - Tell them what you can do, or ask them what else might be of help. This is your opportunity to really wow them, As an example, "I know we do have quite a few size 14's in other colours that I am sure will suit you. If you want to go into the changing rooms I will bring them for you to try on." Always offer alternatives if you can't meet their deadline or a product they are looking for. This is also an opportunity to really wow your customer if you can go the extra mile like the example below.

If you'd like to find out more about how to develop brilliant customer service in your teams then do give me a call on 01908 511 062 or buy my book on Amazon to give you an idea of how I can help you.

Until next time ...


More about Debra Stevens ...

I'm the founder of DTS, which was established in 1996. A highly successful experiential training company specialising in facilitating behavioural change in all aspects of dealings with people, whether in customer service, sales, management or with colleagues and teammates.

I've managed large contracts such as Pearson Education, Coca Cola, Penguin Books, Accenture, and Santander for over 21 years and have built up excellent relationships with key sponsors of all aspects of the businesses.

I'm a successful trainer, writer and speaker with nearly 30 years' experience of training people at all levels.


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