How to be good at giving customers bad news

Be Prepared

Don't get caught off guard.  The customer may place all of the blame on you.  Avoid taking anything personally

Be Objective

Give the customer the news in a straightforward fashion.  Avoid being judgmental or beating around the bush.

Use Assistance

Use a team approach whenever possible.  If the customer becomes extremely hostile, you have someone as a safety precaution.

Preserve the Customer's Dignity

Many times customers become angry because they are embarrassed.  Try to keep this in mind and preserve the customer's dignity.  If possible, talk to the customer in private.

Listen With Empathy

Try to imagine how the situation would feel in reverse.  Sometimes listening is the best thing you can do.  Always remember:  The customer is a person first and a customer second.

Offer Something

Although you may not be able to give customers what they want, you can always offer something.  try to switch the focus away form what you can't do, toward what you can do.

The above material was provided and copyrighted 1995 by the National Crisis Prevention Institute

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