In one way or another we are living the double life as the service provider and a customer.

Being a customer service provider doesn’t just mean that you have to be working in a call center, answering customer queries via email using templates, or as a cashier at a fast food chain. The moment you answer someone’s question, the time you open and held the door for an elderly and helped them cross the street, when your mom asks you to wash the dishes, or even when your best friend borrows your car – you are providing service.

In a professional setting, there are indeed times that we cannot fulfill our clients’ requests and/or demands. We have policies, processes, and even verbatim to follow which are strictly based on our trainings and the knowledge management system. Scripted or not, how can you say no without the customers going irate nor having a markdown in QA?

It’s not WHAT you say, but HOW you say it.

Politely decline if you have to, and anticipate the “Why?” right after. 

  • If you have absorbed the lessons during your training or even from your past experiences, you will be able to explain in detail why you can’t fulfill their requests/demands. When I say explain, tell them the truth and don’t be shady, while making sure that you don’t put yourself or your employer in a bad light.
  • Positive scripting is still important. It’s like telling the customers to look at the bright side because there is always one. Some just tend to ignore it because it’s not how they want to see it.
  • Explain what they need to know, not what they want to hear.

Think outside of the box. 

Provided that you have already exhausted your resources and you’re still far from getting a 9 or a 10 in NPS, step back and think as the customer. How would you like your questions be answered and your requests done? For sure, at any time, you know what to do (or want done) if you put yourselves in their situation. If it is beyond your control, seek assistance from someone who can possibly help.

Customers are not always right, but they always have the right to complain and leave any type of feedback.

Moving on, I hate to break it to y’all but customers are not always right. But as customers we always have the right to vent frustrations, complain, suggest, leave a feedback, and comment on the products and services we receive – nicely. As customers we do not have the right to be impolite, shout at, be rude, insult, nor degrade the service providers. Remember, we called or asked them for help. We are the ones who need something from them, specifically their assistance.

For example, engaging with a customer service representative over the phone because your internet/cable has been cut because you have overlooked your bill due date. If you plan to be a Karen on the onset of the call because it worked the last time and they have reinstated your subscription even without a payment, think again. Most of the CSRs are stressed out because they’re like sponges and shock absorbers of strangers 7-8 hours daily. If you have chanced someone who is so burnout, who knows what will happen to your personal details. Your full name, address, your birthday and any details used for verification are all visible on their end. This is the part where I tell you you may not know who you’re dealing with. Also, before you think otherwise, if they’re naughty enough — yes, they can. I know stories of real people who did.

But anyhow, probably the key takeaway from all these blabs is be human. We do not know everybody’s struggles, but we all have it. We have daily challenges, obstacles and battles to beat/overcome. Those are normal, known and present in our lives to make us who we are now. Use the experiences gained from it wisely.