Tag: Delivering Bad News to Customers

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.

What You Can Learn From Doctors About Delivering Bad News to Your Customers

African American Doctor

Five years ago my dad needed to have a quadruple bypass, and he needed to have 3 of his heart valves replaced. The surgery came with significant risks. There was a 10 – 15% chance of death during or shortly after surgery.

There was a risk of stroke or heart attack during the operation. My father didn’t want to have the surgery – because of the risks, and based on things he was hearing from other people.

My sister arranged a meeting with my Dad’s surgeon and our whole family, where we could ask questions about the surgery so that my Dad could make the best decision.

The surgeon walked into the exam room to meet with us. He greeted us, shook our hands, and took a seat across from my Dad. I was the first to ask a question. “If my dad doesn’t have this surgery, what are we looking at?”

Here’s what I want you to hear; the way the surgeon answered my question. He turned to face me, and he said,