Customer Service Blog

Ask without Accusing

In a perfect world, when people commit to do something it would absolutely be done and you’d never have to ask or remind them about it. In reality though, as you’ve no doubt experienced, customers, co-workers, friends and family members have other priorities and may neglect or forget to follow-through. Out of frustration, we might ask, “Did you (insert their commitment here) yet?” Unfortunately, that wording sounds slightly accusatory and puts the other person on the defensive; making them more inclined to rationalize the delay. That’s not helpful. Instead, consider using the phrase, “have a chance to” as in, “Did you have a chance to…?”.  That phrasing – while reminding the person of their commitment – comes across as empathic and forgiving. Ironically, the kindness it conveys is much more apt to compel the person to take action.


Was this helpful?   For additional information on this topic:  Influence and Persuasion Skills 

You’ll find more of Jeff’s Trusted Advisor Customer Service tips or subscribe to receive a new Business Building Tip every two weeks and stay up to date on all our upcoming events.

Curious about Jeff’s training resources?  Click on Shop for details.  If you’re interested in a customized presentation for your organization contact Jeff at [email protected]

Jeff Mowatt is a customer service speaker, customer service trainer, award-winning speaker, and best selling author. To inquire about engaging Jeff for your team visit

Register today for our 30 – second Trusted Advisor tips and receive as a bonus 15 Phrases that Pay for dealing with stressed and rushed customers.

Subscribe to our Blog
Get our latest updates in your Inbox

Subscribe to our Blog