Customer Experience News & Trends

4 ways to get the truth out of customers


The next time you suspect a customer is giving you a “BS” story, use this guide to handle the situation and (hopefully) uncover the truth.

Here are four clear signs customers are lying, according to business consultant Steve Tobak  — plus strategies to separate the fiction from the fact.

  1. The story changes slightly. Small variations on the original story point to lies. It’s tough to remember all the details of the truth. Imagine how hard it is to remember details to something that didn’t happen. To get around this: Ask the same questions a few times. Point out discrepancies until the truth emerges.
  2. They insist they’re telling the truth. Lies probably follow these phrases  – “To tell you the truth …,” “Let’s be frank …” or  “To be honest …” To get around this: Insist on facts. Ask questions that will pinpoint where, when, how and why.
  3. Your questions are repeated. Habitual liars repeat the questions they’re asked to buy time before answering them. To get around this: Ask close ended questions that can be answered in one word – “yes” or “no”- to keep the pace of the conversation going and allow less time to conjure up lies.
  4. They change their intelligence level. Some people act dumb, but they’re not, when lying. Others act smart, and they’re not, when they lie. To get around this: Remind them of facts you’ve shared (and are certain they know) that make your case. If they claim to have more intelligence than they really do, refer to the facts you know and ask them to cite specifics they can prove with other documentation.

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