Customer Experience News & Trends

How to deliver bad news (without upsetting customers)

Can you deliver bad news to customers without upsetting them? Yes – and here’s how.

Agents can defuse potentially tough situations by following these five steps, recommended by management expert Ramon Greenwood.

  1. Have all your facts at hand. You’ll only worsen the situation if you answer questions or concerns with, “I’m not sure.”
  2.  Be patient. Let customers vent their frustrations and respond with empathy: “I can understand why you feel that way.”
  3. Offer an alternative. Since you can’t give customers what they want, have a few alternatives ready and let them pick the new solution.
  4. Take the blame, when necessary. If you caused the mistake (say, you forgot to process an order, so delivery will be late), avoid shifting the blame or getting defensive. If it was the company’s mistake (perhaps a quality defect), say “we.” You don’t want to distance yourself from the issue.
  5. Report good news, too.  Don’t cushion the current situation with something you deem good news. But let customers know when good things happen. That way, you won’t be remembered just as the bearer of bad news.

Subscribe Today

Get the latest customer experience news and insights delivered to your inbox.