Friday, August 18, 2006

When the answer is NO

I came across an interesting quote in Thursday's Wall Street Journal. It read, "It's not easy to tell people, 'no'. It's like telling them their dog isn't cute." The article was about an auto show that is reducing the amount of entries. The topic doesn't apply to Verity, but the sentiment does. Telling people no is something that front line customer service representatives struggle with everyday. We like to call it fancy things like providing solutions, but sometimes we are telling people no.
What do you say when there is not a viable solution for a member? I like to think that Verity has a wide array of products and services that can meet a customer's needs, but there always are exceptions. So, in my mind if you have to say no make sure you exercising excellent listening skills. Listening skills include making sure you understand the problem as stated, paraphrasing throughout the call and providing empathy. In real estate, location is the key. When telling people no delivery is key.
As a manager, I always struggle to train someone on their delivery methods. To understand the quality of service you are providing you have to look at it from the other person's perspective. Perception is reality.

I'm not sure what the best way is to train employees to properly deliver a negative message is. If you have any ideas or stories about when you told bad news and left happy anyways, let me know.

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