Building a successful business is all about developing and maintaining strong customer relationships. Saying the wrong thing, though, can erode all that hard work and turn a great current customer into an angry former customer. In a recent BNET article, contributor Jeff Haden shared the eight things you should never say to your customers.
“No.” “If you absolutely can’t provide a certain product or service, you can’t, but often you can’t simply because you don’t want to,” Haden wrote. “Price unusual requests accordingly: If you can make a decent profit, why not? Making a profit is why you’re in business.”
“Are you sure?” “Never directly doubt their statements or their feelings; all you’ll do is make an already bad situation a lot worse,” he wrote. “Instead ask questions or seek to better understand.”
“What you should do is…” “Don’t tell me what to do,” Haden wrote. “Help me. That’s why I came to you.”
“That’s against our policy.” “Any terms or conditions not spelled out in advance are irrelevant to the customer,” he wrote. “Refer to policies or conditions when the customer was fully aware of and agreed to those conditions; otherwise, find a way to fix the problem. Unstated policies are your problem, not the customer’s.”
“No problem.” “When I’m the customer, I’m favoring your business with my patronage; your business isn’t doing me any favors, so never imply you are,” Haden wrote. “Replace ‘no problem’ with ‘yes.'”
“Let me try to do that…” “All you can do is all you can do,” he wrote. “Don’t imply you’re working extra hard on my behalf by ‘trying.'”
“Let me know if you have any other problems.” “Solving a customer’s problem meets expectations; following up to see if they need further assistance shows you care,” Haden wrote.
“I’ll get back to you as soon as I can.” “Customer relationships are based on managing expectations; “as soon as I can” sounds good but fails to set an expectation the customer can count on,” he wrote.
To read the complete BNET article, click here.