6 Recommendations on Say No to Clients [+ Examples]

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Constructing a profitable product means saying no. However precisely how do you say it? Whenever you’re on the entrance traces speaking to prospects, delivering that information efficiently is crucial.

As a member of our Buyer Assist crew, I’ve skilled firsthand simply how difficult rejecting a buyer’s request could be. The knowledge you’re about to share is just not what they wish to hear and if it’s communicated poorly, can rapidly flip an in any other case comfortable person into an indignant buyer.

However as a assist rep, there are methods you may make saying “no” extra palatable to your prospects and simpler on you. Right here’s a step-by-step information to dealing with these tough conditions.

1. Say no by explaining why

Say no to customers by explaining why


Like all time you’re receiving unhealthy information in life, context is essential. Should you can clarify why you’re saying no, it’s a neater tablet to your buyer to swallow. With out it, you’ll seemingly end up in a scenario the place your buyer feels indignant, pissed off, or simply upset.

Step one to saying no is clearly explaining that the scenario isn’t the results of a mistake however a deliberate resolution. Think about if a buyer writes in with an pressing function request – in the event that they really feel this is because of a sloppy oversight, you’ll solely stoke their anger. However, reassuring them that the choice displays your organization coverage or product imaginative and prescient can quell their frustration whereas nonetheless making them really feel heard.

“Like all time you’re receiving unhealthy information in life, context is essential”

For function requests, a great relationship between buyer assist and product will help present a lot wanted context into why sure selections have been made. Our assist reps will routinely run by way of the logic behind product choices with our engineers and product managers. Having that line of communication means we will say no with the proper degree of element.

2. Don’t change your tone of voice

Tone of voice in customer support


Whenever you’re chatting with prospects about their success together with your product, it’s simple to be private and all sunshine and GIFs. However one thing I’ve seen occur usually with assist reps is that the second prospects confront them with a tough scenario, they stiffen up and their language fully adjustments. Their human tone instantly turns into robotic.

However that is precisely when being private is most essential. From the shopper’s perspective, a stiff “no” can come off as a scarcity of empathy for his or her scenario or as you parroting a inventory firm line. Whereas it’s pure to really feel uncomfortable saying no to buyer requests, instantly altering your tone will solely make an already annoying buyer expertise even worse.

As an alternative, it’s best to stay private and search for a constructive approach to say no. If doubtful, ask your self if you happen to’d use the identical tone of voice to elucidate the scenario to a pal or colleague. If it could really feel bizarre talking to them that method, then don’t converse that approach to your buyer.

three. Contain the shopper within the resolution

Involve customers in finding the solution


Issues go incorrect and errors occur – that’s the character of rising a enterprise. Surprising bugs crop up and prospects are negatively affected. We’d all wish to have a bulletproof rationalization for each problem a buyer would possibly face however the actuality is that simply isn’t potential.

Involving the shopper within the decision will help them empathize with you and even strengthen the shopper relationship. It additionally helps you get a fuller image of what’s occurring and lets you actually perceive why and the way they had been affected.

“Involving the shopper within the decision will help them empathize with you and even strengthen the shopper relationship”

Utilizing constructive language to ask issues like, “What do you suppose can be a good resolution?” and “How does that sound to you?” can convey prospects into the dialog. It additionally communicates that you simply take buyer satisfaction critically.

Inevitably there can be occasions when a tough line must be drawn and you have to to push again. However while you contain the shopper to find various options, it may be the catalyst for each side to take a realistic strategy to tough conditions.

four. Deal with the job to be executed, not the “no”

Focus on the customer's job, not the no


As Intercom we discourage our assist reps from merely saying, “You possibly can’t do this on the minute, however we’ll go it on as a function request.” Granted, generally this response is the one one which is sensible. However extra usually not, there are methods we will help prospects obtain the job they’re making an attempt to do differently.

Our strategy is to maneuver the main target of the dialog from a particular function to the shopper’s objective. We’ll ask just a few extra probing questions to seek out out precisely what their goal is. Finest case situation, there’s an current workaround. Worst case situation, we’ll now have further context to go on to our product crew.

5. Breaking apart together with your buyer is okay too

As a SaaS enterprise, buyer retention is considered one of our prime priorities – when our prospects stick round and develop, we develop. This perception is so ingrained that breaking apart with a buyer can really feel like an alien idea. It may be a extremely difficult factor to get your head round.

“There are official explanation why prospects ought to offboard”

However there are official explanation why prospects ought to offboard out of your product. The actual fact is your product won’t ever meet each buyer’s wants. You’ve designed it to do particular jobs in particular methods. No one desires a disillusioned buyer who always contacts assist as a result of they’re utilizing your product in a method that it’s merely not designed to work.

At Intercom, we wish prospects to like our product and actually really feel the worth of it. So if what they wish to accomplish is just not one thing that our product is constructed to do, then we settle for that the shopper’s wants and our product are usually not a great match. They’re by no means going to really feel they’ve discovered success. In these circumstances, whereas we’ll be unhappy to half methods, we gained’t draw back from it.

6. Have empathy for each side

We imagine in all the time exhibiting empathy to our prospects – however by no means to the purpose that we promote our personal product quick. It’s superb to agree that you simply too would like to see a sure function added. In spite of everything, guaranteeing your product delivers worth for the long run means all the time innovating on it.

Nevertheless, we attempt to stability acknowledging buyer suggestions about our product with sharing new options which have lately shipped or improved on. Reminding prospects about what’s new will help reinforce that your product and engineering groups didn’t simply neglect or overlook constructing the options they requested; slightly, you made a deliberate resolution that different options would take precedence.

“We imagine in all the time exhibiting empathy to our prospects – however by no means to the purpose that we promote our personal product quick”

That is another excuse to spend money on a robust relationship between your buyer assist and product groups. Being near your product crew, understanding what they’re engaged on, permits assist reps to have empathy to your prospects and your colleagues in equal measures.

Say no with confidence

With the ability to say no to prospects and say it with confidence is just not an easy talent to grasp. It takes time and apply and even essentially the most seasoned assist rep can discover it tough. The important thing to having these conversations in a constructive method is a deep understanding of your organization’s mission and an equally deep empathy to your prospects.


The Growth Handbook v1 – Desktop Article – horizontal 2019

Sharon Moorhouse

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