The 3 Biggest Mistakes Employees Make When Giving Bad News to Customers


Telling customers what they don’t want to hear is one of the hardest things customer service employees will ever have to do. To make it easier for you to give bad news, I’ve made my popular How to Deliver Bad News online class free. At the end of this post, you can click to go right into my course.

Giving bad news is hard because of the fear of backlash and because so many customers will just escalate to a supervisor in hopes of getting a different response.

Giving lousy news usually goes wrong because of the approach employees use. The three biggest mistakes people make when telling customers what they don’t want to hear are:  Continue reading “The 3 Biggest Mistakes Employees Make When Giving Bad News to Customers”

The Reason Your Employees Can’t De-escalate

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Everybody thinks to train employees on the company’s applications and products and to give them basic phone skills. But very few people in customer service actually get the training they need to get an angry customer to back down, politely control conversations with ramblers and skillfully handle the customer who demands to speak with a supervisor. I want to talk to you about why your employees can’t seem to de-escalate intense interactions.

Three Reasons Your Employees Can’t De-escalate

1. If You Push a Customer, They’ll Push Back

Continue reading “The Reason Your Employees Can’t De-escalate”

Three Simple (But Important) Things To Remember About Giving Bad News To Customers


No one likes to deliver bad news to customers, but for a lot of us, giving bad news is a regular part of business. You know the feeling – you probably get nervous, or you have to transfer a call to your supervisor because the customer won’t accept your word as final. It’s time to figure out how to fix that!

For more than 20 years, through my workshops, I’ve worked with customer service professionals just like you who struggle with how to say things to customers that they don’t want to hear.

Here are Three Simple (But Important) Things To Remember About Giving Bad News To Customers.

1. Never cause a sense of helplessness.

Continue reading “Three Simple (But Important) Things To Remember About Giving Bad News To Customers”

5 Things You Most Likely Didn’t Know About Listening Effectively In Retail Sales

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Poor listening often leads to customer frustration. When a retail employee merely hears a customer—instead of actively listening to them—they’re less able to determine precisely what that person needs.

I designed my Listening class for LinkedIn Learning to help you avoid these kinds of miscommunications. Join me as I go over how important listening is in retail sales, and I share 5 things you most likely didn’t know about listening in retail sales.

Help your customers feel heard and understood by learning practical steps for better listening. Discover the elements of effective listening—including how to listen with the intent to understand instead of the intent to reply—as well as how to find upsell opportunities and create calm with an angry customer.

18m 47s

Take a look at the course introduction here.

Take The Importance of Listening in Retails Sales on LinkedIn Learning and 

Most People Don’t Get That They Have Internal Customers


I don’t think that most people get that there are only two functions in a company. You’re either serving customers, or you’re serving someone who serves customers. There aren’t any other roles in business, as far as I’m concerned. I want to talk to you about how to fulfill your responsibility of serving, particularly when it comes to your co-workers – your internal customers.

The Importance of Follow-up

I love me some basketball. (#Thunderup) Follow-up is like an alley-oop on the court. An alley-oop in basketball is an offensive play in which one player throws the ball near the basket to a teammate who jumps, catches the ball in mid-air and puts it in the hoop before touching the ground.

If a co-worker reaches out to you for research or response (that is, throws you the ball near the customer’s point of need), you need to run with the task (with a sense of urgency) and put the ball in the bucket. Meaning, you make that call, do the research, or whatever, and you close the loop by letting your colleague know you’ve followed through.

It’s Bigger Than You

Continue reading “Most People Don’t Get That They Have Internal Customers”

The 2 Most Important Things Small Businesses Need to Focus On with the Customer Experience


Two months ago I switched my company’s wireless carrier from AT&T, a relationship we’d had for nineteen problem-free years, to a low-cost competitor. We made the switch for one reason: To cut costs.

Seventy-two hours into the new vendor’s relationship, I knew we had a problem. Clients were all the time saying, “You’re breaking up,” or “I didn’t catch that.” The LTE service was laughable.

The new carrier was cheaper, yes. And the salespeople we worked with were delightful. However, the service was unacceptable. I had to breach the contract, paying out the big bucks to switch back to AT&T.

My brief stint with a low-cost competitor reminded me of two profound lessons small businesses must never forget.

1. Friendly Employees Aren’t Enough

Continue reading “The 2 Most Important Things Small Businesses Need to Focus On with the Customer Experience”