Customer Service Training TIps

The worst way to break bad news

Chances are one of your least pleasant tasks at work is breaking bad news to customers or co-workers. I’m referring to times when you need to communicate delays with projects, unexpected costs, or that what that person wants simply isn’t doable. To avoid the unpleasant reaction of the recipient, we may be tempted to send a written correspondence; be it letter, text-message or email. That’s the worst way to break bad news. Text is cold, and often leads to more correspondence and escalation of the problem. Instead, take the grown-up approach and either go talk to person or at least pick up the phone. Then, if you need to for the record, you can follow-up with a brief written message. Even a 30-second voice mail message briefly explaining the situation will have more impact than a 1000 word email. It takes less time, conveys more meaning, and is more likely to maintain your positive relationship.

Today’s chuckle:

If the cops arrest a mime do they tell him that he has the right to remain silent?


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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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