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8 Ways To Say A Positive “No” To Your Customers

8 Ways To Say A Positive “No” To Your Customers

8 Ways To Say A Positive “No” To Your Customers

How to say no to customers in a positive way?

As a customer support representative, this might be an alien concept to you. You almost want to say yes to all of your customers to keep your relationship with them. It’s the only way to keep them, right? There is some truth to that because it is always a good idea to accommodate your customers’ needs.

But that is not the only way to keep them. 

Sometimes, a customer will ask for something that’s entirely beyond what your business can provide, and the only right answer to say would be that two-letter word. We understand that it can be challenging to do so, and there’s always the fear of consequences, but we’re here to help you.

In this article, we’re going to give you ways to soften the blow of saying no to your customers. But first, let’s answer this question.

Why is it so hard to reject a customer?

Is the customer always right? A lot of businesses will say that yes, the customer is always right. However, some will also say that this belief is only rooted in fear of the consequences that businesses will receive if they reject a customer. We gathered three reasons to understand this kind of ideology further.

First, you don’t want to have a bad image

You fear that a rejected customer will tell their family, close friends, and other people about their experience with you that may cause the loss of potential customers.

Second, you may break your relationship with them

In business, growth is heavily dependent on your loyal customers. You fear that if you fail to satisfy their demands, they will feel disappointed and eventually give their loyalty to another company.

Third, they will not choose to do business with you 

You think that not being able to do what your customers want will turn them off and not consider your brand even in future opportunities. Being confident in saying no is a difficult thing to do. But it doesn’t have to be. 

Which brings us to the next part (the best part):

How To Say No To Customers In A Positive Way

It’s completely possible, and we’re here to show you how.

  1. Acknowledge Their Efforts

Before you respond to their requests, thank them first for choosing your business. Although you cannot give what they want, it’s essential to show them that you appreciate their efforts to reach out to you and care for their needs. This will lessen the weight of rejection later on.

  1. Be Consistent With Your Tone

It’s easy to be happy and cheerful when you satisfy your customers. The problem arises when the situation becomes difficult, as the support representatives tend to have a sudden change in their tone of voice. They become too stiff and uncomfortable with their tone, and it can only worsen the situation for both sides.

Remember, the customer needs an empathetic response, especially when it comes to these types of situations. You can only achieve this by being consistent and personal with the tone of your voice.

  1. Always Ask For Clarification

What are they exactly looking for? Why do they want your product to have that specific feature? These questions will allow you to go deeper into your customers’ desires and help you understand their needs better. It will also make them feel that you listen and give importance to their opinions. 

This can also benefit your business; these conversations give you the insights you need to learn to improve your product or service. You can reach out to them and update them about your product when the necessary changes are made to accommodate their requests. 

  1. Explain Why It Cannot Be Done

Imagine receiving bad news without knowing the reason why it happened. As what the majority would feel, this will only leave you frustrated and angered. The same thing goes with your customers, and you have to provide them with an explanation of why you cannot fulfill their request.

The reason can be because the request doesn’t follow the company’s standards and policies. Or it’s because it compromises your team members’ safety.

Many factors could play in this situation, and that’s why it’s important to always give context to your customers.

But the explanation must be clear, and it must be the truth – don’t give your customers any lies and poor excuses. Be honest when you’re communicating with them.

This can help the customers to put themselves in your shoes and understand the case from your perspective. Accepting rejection can be easier when both sides know where they are coming from. 

  1. Use Positive Language

Instead of focusing too much on saying the “no” word, you can try rephrasing it with positive words. Instead of saying, “No, there’s no way we can do that,” you can change that by adding some positive words that express regret and empathy while still appreciating their efforts to reach out to you.

This will help the situation to calm down and eliminate the negative feelings of your customers. 

  1. Provide Alternative Choices

If you cannot meet those customers’ needs, you can’t leave the conversation just like that. You have to give them other options for them not to be empty-handed. Other options can mean introducing them to your trusted competitors.

You might be thinking, “Wait. That’s crazy. Why would I do that?”

Well, turning them to your competitors might be crazy, but this will leave a positive impression on your customers. This will make them thankful for your help in finding the next best option to complete their task.

This will also make your customers feel that you genuinely care for their needs and desires. You might not keep them for the time being, but you’re able to end on good terms. Who knows? Maybe the next time they look for something that your product or service can provide, they will go and do business with you.

  1. Consider It as Their “first No” 

Most of the time, saying no to customers can get tiring and discouraging for customer representatives. A good thing to remember is that every customer you say no to hears it for the first time. Yes, you might be rejecting a lot of them and it can feel disappointing, but that’s only on your side.

When it comes to the customers’ side, it’s their first rejection for the day. To get through it, use your best answers and give them some variations throughout the day. 

  1. Make Them Feel Heard

We believe that everything boils down to this and it’s one of the best ways to say no to a customer. The next best choice is to make them feel heard, which will make them realize that reaching out to you is not a waste of time.

If the customer messaged you via email, reply quickly but not too fast. If you respond within seconds, they might think that you didn’t read the whole message. You have to show that you genuinely care and you can do it by taking the time to hear what they have to say.

Final words: Welcome the concept of saying no

Sometimes, breaking up with your customers is a good thing. This concept can be a head-scratcher for a lot of businesses. Your product or service will not match everybody’s needs.

You designed your product to be used in a specific way. Your service is made to work in particular conditions. If a customer fails to understand this and continuously asks for something out of the scope of your business, then it’s time to say no.

Of course, the relationship you have with your customers is still one of the building blocks for your growth and success. It’s vital to take all the efforts to provide positive experiences for your customers. But rejecting them is not the end of the world.

There are still a lot of ways and chances for them to return to your business. This is why it’s important to leave your interactions with customers on a positive note. Even if you fall short this time, an honest and clear explanation will open the door for future opportunities of doing business with each other. 

The next time the question “how to say no to customers?” pops up into your mind, remember these tips we have provided for you.

It’s not going to be easy, and it’s going to be tougher to master it. But with the correct techniques and practice, saying no will be useful not only to your business but also to your customers.

Roland Francis Dacillo
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