How To : Give Bad News to Customers

What do you do when you know that you have not met your service aims?
How can you limit the damage done to the relationship with your customer?
Here are some of the ways to lessen the pain.
Before you break the bad news ( before the conversation)
  •  Look for a workaround or other temporary solution
  • Think about how you escalate this to management a service/other escalation next step and plan this ( with management?)
  • Acknowledge your negative emotions, but decide not to display them. 
  •  Expect some conflict or unpleasant reaction
  • Consider if this interaction may just be damage limitation 
  • Try to handle the conflict in a private setting 

As you break the bad news ( during the conversation)

  • Let the customer vent – do not interrupt 
  • Empathize
  • Be ready to explain fully if that is requested
  • Apologize ( in many cultures)
  • Offer escalation before it is requested
  • Consider offering compensation before it is requested 
  • Be ready to reaffirm the importance of the relationship
  • Make sure to follow up when things are calmer

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