Customer Service Training TIps

Saying No and Still Building Trust

To be an effective parent to children, supervisor to team members, or advisor to customers there’s one particular word you occasionally need to tell people they won’t necessarily want to hear – ‘No’.  Some people claim you should never say that word to a customer and instead find a positive spin to what you can offer. While that approach has some merit, I believe that when someone asks you a direct yes or no question, if the answer is no then we should say it immediately, clearly, and unequivocally – followed by an explanation or alternatives – even though they may not like it. Being direct and upfront earns trust, which is more important in long-term relationships than being liked every minute by everyone.


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



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