How to Deliver Bad News to Customers
Choosing the right words and the right time can make bad news less difficult for the customer and the customer service rep.
(Mountain Lakes, NJ, February 9, 2017) — Most reps will occasionally have to deliver bad news to customers. They have to report late shipments, stock shortages, equipment and service delays, and any number of other issues that customers aren’t going to be happy with.
So how do you deal with those situations? Is there an approach you can take to pass the news on to the customer without creating a difficult and emotional interaction that just adds to the stress? Is there ever a good way to deliver bad news?
Evan Horowitz of Evan Horowitz Advising believes that there is. "Bad news is something that all companies face," he says, "but the situation can get worse if it is not handled well. Customer service reps can accidentally aggravate the situation if they are communicating in the wrong way."
In the February issue of Customer Communicator, Horowitz shares five rules for delivering bad news.
Rule #1: Don’t be impulsive. Delivering bad news impulsively, as soon as you hear about it yourself is generally a bad idea, says Horowitz.
A spur-of-the-moment report that, "Oh, this bad thing has happened, and I just want to tell you about it," is not the optimal approach. "The rep might be genuinely interested in helping," Horowitz says, "but when there is a problem — especially if it is a serious problem — you want to have a completely thought out scenario before you let the customer know about it."
About the Customer Service Group
For more than 20 years, the Customer Service Group has helped customer service, call center and help desk managers increase productivity, improve service quality and boost customer satisfaction, loyalty and retention. The group’s materials include The Customer Communicator newsletter, training guides, DVDs, and Customer Service Week celebration materials.