Instead of “Shooting from the Lip”

Helping difficult customers often means overcoming your first impulse. Turn "shoot from the lip" responses into tactful, helpful ones. 

1. "I can't help you with that." Instead try: "I need more information to determine the best way to help you." Don't jump to the conclusion that you can't help your customer just because their question isn't in your policy manual. Ask questions to clarify the request. Chances are you can help. 

2. "Don't take it out on me." Instead try: "I certainly understand your frustration; let's see how we can solve this right here and now." Even if you didn't cause the problem, the customer depends on you to solve it. 

3. "All we can do is..." Instead try: "What would you like us to do?" Don't start limiting the customer's choices until you know what they want. They may actually expect less than you're prepared to offer. 

4. "You need to" Instead try: "Here's how we can take care of that." Customers expect you to handle problems, not toss them back in their faces. Help them with whatever they need. 

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