How To Say No To Customers Without Making Them Angry
The customer is always right! But sometimes, the customer is terribly wrong and reacting emotionally to their stance can gravely affect your relationship with that customer, several other customers who witnessed it, and any other prospective customer that could have come through that one customer or from those who witnessed your emotional outburst.
Saying no to customers is common-place, but should be done intelligently. You should tread carefully so much that you don’t end up burning irreparable bridges you’d come to regret on the long-run.
So what’s the best way to say no to a customer?
If you know the customer is wrong or just being unreasonably annoying, here are 5 ways on how to say no to customers without making them angry:
1). Show The Customer You Care To Listen:
Whenever customers go on an emotional outburst or demand the impossible, they expect you’ll always provide a solution for them with no questions asked. Some other customers get even worse by using a bitter tone from their first inquiry to an eventual purchase, without caring if they treated you the seller right or wrong.
If you realise you’re talking to these type of customers, stay silent and listen to everything they have to say. Whether you can provide a solution to their problems or not, show them you care through listening, and they’d feel you value their opinion and time.
Next, find out the true reason they’re upset, and completely let them speak about their disappointments either with your products which they’ve already purchased or with something else they want but cannot get.
When you listen and ask questions, the customer may trust to return to your business much later, because the realisation that you showed you cared even if you couldn’t provide a solution to their problem is priceless.
2). Use A Positive Language Instead of Just Saying “No”:
An outright “No” can come off as being rude or highly repugnant. Your words have a big impact on how your customers feel, and if you use them carelessly even if you believe there’s nothing wrong with what you’ve said, you may become one or more customers short.
Instead of saying “No” to the customer, you can say something like: “I’m sorry we can’t currently offer that and we truly appreciate the time you took to make the request, but if you have suggestions that can help us ensure we always cover your needs in the future, we’d be happy to hear them”.
When you use positive language like this, the customer doesn’t walk away angry never to return, but only disappointed that they couldn’t get what they wanted.
3). Be Polite In Your Reaction:
People react to almost anything. The emotional part of every human’s brain is one of its core weaknesses. And because of this, brands take advantage of our human inclination to react to what we hear, see, feel, and taste, to sell more products than ever before.
Since companies carefully curate words, actions, and more to manipulate our emotional state, using them carelessly when talking to a customer or letting them know you can’t meet their needs can be devastating.
If the customer is angry because you can’t meet his or her needs, don’t react emotionally to their outburst, be polite all through the way. Avoid highlighting their flaws and instead, work on leaving a lasting impression at the end of the conversation. This would ensure the customer returns to patronise your services over and over again.
4). Offer The Customer A Close Alternative:
If you can’t provide a “Yes” to the customer’s request, create a win-win situation, while you let them know their immediate request cannot be met.
You can do this by offering them a close alternative to their request, but at a discount to enable them to pay for it and appreciate your effort.
For instance, if a customer wants to buy a certain type of handbag but it’s out of stock, you can offer them a close alternative in the same category of handbags, but at a discount, and possibly include a free purse or wallet with it to make the customer happy enough to take your alternative solution and forgo their initial request.
5). Be Honest:
Be honest with the customer every step of the way. Instead of saying “No” in a polite way and then making a promise to them that you cannot keep, simply tell the truth.
If a customer realises you’re being untruthful and can’t keep to your words, they may never patronise your business again and would do well to tell anyone they know that needs your service to stay away from your organisation.
Always be transparent to the customer and let them always know how long it would truly take to deliver a service, product, incentive, freebie, or form of solution to them.
If you always tell the customers the truth, they’d come to appreciate your business over the long-run, but if you lie to them, you’ll set yourself up to lose that customer forever.
To Sum It Up
Saying no to a customer may be hard, but is a reality you’d have to face many times over. What would determine if the customer comes to value your relationship over the long-period would be how you say no, your attitude to their response, the alternatives you provide, and the honesty you exert every single step of the way.
So is it okay to say no to a customer? Yes. But how you say it will determine a lot.
What are your thoughts on these 5 ways on how to say no to customers without making them angry? Let me know by leaving a comment below.