Three Creative Ways to Say “No” to Your Customers
Whether your career in the client relations business has been long or short, the chances that you have been told “the customer is always right,” is very likely. Clients come in all forms and while there are many people who are accepting of the answer “no” there are twice as many who want to feel that your company is able to offer them the world. As a business owner building relationships with your customers and leaving them feeling well taken care of and satisfied with the business exchange is the number one goal. Here are three creative ways to say “no” to your customers while still maintaining a professional and upbeat attitude!
- Offer something else in return. Customers often react poorly to being told “no” because this leads them to believe their money and time is not appreciated. Clients need to see how investing in your company’s products or services will benefit them. Telling a customer “no” may leave a bad taste in their mouth. A response such as “unfortunately I am unable to do that, however, I would love to assist you in another option that will give you your desired results” is often widely accepted and can win over unhappy customers. Customers feel appreciated when they are given the impression that your company and staff members are going out of your way to accommodate them.
- Personalize your interactions with each customer. An impersonal rejection to the client’s request can easily be interpreted poorly. Instead of simply saying “no” express to the client that you wish you were able to meet their exact need but will not be able to at that time. Leave your client with a sense that the business values them. Communicate with your customers in a friendly and encouraging way especially when informing the customer of a rejected request.
- Explain exactly why the customer’s request cannot be met at that time. When clients are left with a curt “no” they are left with unanswered questions which leads to miscommunications. Step aside with your customers and explain why you are unable to honor their request even though you would love to do so. Help the customer to understand their options clearly and leave them feeling informed and valued. Telling a customer “no” does not have to damage the relationship between business and client. By empathizing with your clients and far more likely to overcome the negative connotations that come along with rejecting a request.
Keep in mind that telling a customer “no” will always present its challenges. These exchanges are often tricky but by following the suggested process outlined you and your staff will be able to negotiate with clients respectfully and tactfully.