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The library of essays of Proakatemia

breaking out bad news to a client

Kirjoittanut: Aya Benhmida - tiimistä Crevio.

Esseen tyyppi: Blogiessee / 1 esseepistettä.
Esseen arvioitu lukuaika on 3 minuuttia.

Sometimes, situations arise where there’s simply nothing you can do. No one enjoys hearing bad news, and delivering it can be particularly challenging, especially for dedicated customer support agents who strive to ensure every interaction with consumers is positive. However, just because you’re unable to assist a customer doesn’t mean you can’t uphold a standard of excellent customer service, regardless of the circumstances. This essay will be a quick how-to when it comes to breaking not so good news..

  • How Not to Deliver Bad News

Avoid making matters worse. There’s a right and wrong way to communicate bad news to your consumers, and it’s unfortunately all too easy to exacerbate the situation if handled poorly or insensitively.

How often have you received bad news from a company, delivered callously, lacking explanation and devoid of solutions?

For instance: “Dear Miss Doe, we regret to inform you that due to unforeseen issues, there will be a delay in delivering your product. We will update you once we have more information. Sincerely, Company Z.”

While messages like this fulfill the initial step of informing customers about a problem, they fall short in helping affected customers grasp the extent of the issue, providing a suitable explanation, and offering a prognosis for resolution. Customers dislike being kept in the dark, and if your company fails to provide details and solutions, you risk losing both customers and your esteemed reputation.

However, when executed effectively, delivering bad news can leave a positive impression on your customers, fostering their loyalty even during challenging times. In the following section, we’ll demonstrate how to achieve this.

  • Qualities to have when breaking out the bad news
  • Be honest and upfront. This means never pretending that your product is free from problems. Customers generally understand delivery issues, as long as you address them promptly and thoroughly. However, it’s essential to inform them of any potential or expected problems beforehand. Your customers will value your honesty.
  • Communicate promptly and clearly. Your customers should be informed almost immediately after you discover a problem. Your company should never leave the customer to find out about the issue on their own. When delivering bad news, be prepared to explain the problem, what steps you’re taking to resolve it, and how long it might take. Provide updates promptly, even if they’re not positive.
  • Show empathy. Your customers may feel upset upon receiving bad news. It’s crucial for every customer support agent to empathize with them and show understanding. Try to connect with your customer and let them know that you genuinely care about how the bad news affects them. Successful communication will leave the customer feeling supported and cared for.
  • Choose your communication method wisely. The way you deliver bad news significantly impacts how it’s received. Sending a generic email to multiple customers without personalization can make them feel undervalued. Whenever possible, opt for face-to-face interactions or phone calls, as they allow for a more personal and empathetic conversation. If face-to-face interaction isn’t feasible at scale, ensure your emails are personalized to make customers feel valued
  • Be honest. Never withhold details from your customers or downplay the significance of the problem. It might be tempting to keep customers happy by omitting information, but this only delays the inevitable. If customers discover that your company has been withholding important information, it can damage their trust and loyalty. Always provide customers with the complete truth, within legal limits.
  • Offer solutions. Your company should be prepared with solutions and a transparent explanation of how you’re addressing the issue. It’s disheartening for customers to receive bad news without any follow-up on how the problem is being resolved. Present a plan of action to instill confidence in your customers that you’re actively working to solve the issue.
  • Allow for questions. Your customers may have questions about how the issue affects them personally. To provide excellent customer service, even during bad news, allow customers to ask questions and address their concerns to ensure their peace of mind.
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