How to decline a customer request

How to decline a customer request

Have you ever had to decline a customer request?

How do you respond when someone makes a request that is not normally something that you do?  Do you instantly say no, not possible?  Or do you take a moment to consider whether it is something that you would consider helping them with?

Rather than just saying no, consider saying that you will look into it for them and get back with a response at a later time.  This has two benefits.

The first is that you show them respect for their request by not dismissing them instantly.  This can have a far better lasting impression than a straight out no that leaves them unsure of where to go or what to do next.

Too many businesses refuse to stray from the straight and narrow and therefore miss opportunities that are lying right under their noses.  They are too quick to say no, we don’t do that and leave the enquirer feeling dismissed with care and consideration.

Even if you decide that the request is not something that you can deal with, you can go back and let the person know that you have taken the time to consider it, but it is not something that you can personally help with.

It may, however, be the case that you can refer them on to someone else who can help.  This provides value to the person and also to any businesses that receive a referral, all of whom may remember you for your help in the future and feel the need to repay the compliment.  There may even be an opportunity for starting up collaborative working with another business that will pay future dividends to you both.

The second benefit is that by considering requests that are outside of your normal remit gives you an opportunity to consider whether it is something that you could actually incorporate as a product or service into your business.  This could become another revenue stream that you had not previously thought of.

We get all too caught up with our day to day running of our businesses and can sometimes not see the wood for the trees.  By listening to requests, and dealing with them in the appropriate manner, we can find opportunities that may have otherwise passed us by.

Next time you get a request for something that you don’t currently offer, rather than instantly decline a customer, stop and think for a moment as to how you can turn it into a future opportunity for your business whilst providing great customer service at the same time.

A key tactic when your content is shared on social media

A key tactic when your content is shared on social media

Don’t lose your manners when using social media

Quite often when I am using social media, whether on my own personal pages or in a group, I see people asking for recommendations.  This could be someone asking for a personal trainer, a graphic designer, a virtual assistant or something else to help them personally or in their business.

If I know of someone and have used them myself, or have heard good things about them, I am all too happy to recommend them and tag them in a post.  What is then lovely is when the person I recommend puts a quick thank you for the mention in a subsequent post or private message to me.

This takes them seconds to do but lets me know that they value my support.

But what about those who fail to use basic manners in thanking someone for their help?  I have recommended a particular business on a few occasions recently and tagged them.  They have then seen this tag, and subsequently joined in the conversation to take advantage of the mention and to try gain business for themselves.  But no thank you or acknowledgement of my support was forthcoming.

Now call me picky, but I personally take this as blatant bad manners.  If I was at a dinner party and I introduced someone to another person who I thought would be a good contact for them and they totally ignored me, I would feel rather insulted.  And the same goes for social media.  Don’t forget the social part of social media.

What actually flabbergasted me this week was a small business whose posts I have been sharing and I have recommended to a few people, actually took the time to private message, not to thank me for my support but to tell me (not ask) to share and promote a new range of products they now have.  No thank you.  Just a demand for more support.

Do you think I am going to help them?  No, I am not.  I simply take it as incredibly bad manners.

So remember that social media is about building relationships.  Nurture those people who are effectively doing free marketing for you by sharing your content and tagging you in posts.  A few seconds to say a simple thank you can go a long way.  By having good manners you can gain yourself more future free marketing from your supporters who are likely to continue sharing your business with others.

Just don’t miss the key tactic of good manners when your content is shared in social media