Working on things that you say no to can be a good way for a company to make positive change. Let’s say you have a client that asks for something and you say, “I think that is a great idea, but unfortunately, we do not have the equipment in place at this time.” If you mention that idea to your supervisor and the change is implemented at a later time, you may have a very happy client when you can call him/her to let them know about it.
Delivering Bad News
Here are some ways to deliver bad news in different situations.
The item that the customer is ordering, and needs urgently, has been recalled.
Apologize and let the customer know that you have looked for an alternative or replacement, and provide them with the information.
You have to say no to the customer’s request for a special bonus.
Apologize, if appropriate, and tell the customer what you can do. Explain your reasons for saying no.
The supplier has not delivered to you on time and, as a result, you cannot meet your delivery commitments on time.
Explain politely that you are unable to make your delivery as scheduled. Ask if there is something that you can do to assist your client, since you know that they will not be able to make commitments dependent on your delivery.
You have to tell a client that the price has changed due to a sharp increase in manufacturing costs.
Explain that prices are set, in part, to reflect current costs. Tell the client that you realize that increases are hitting everyone. If the client is upset, offer to extend payment terms or send smaller shipments if your company has authorized you to do so.
You have to tell a customer that, due to the company’s commitment to reduce their carbon footprint, you can no longer ship materials to him.
Emphasize what you can do for the customer: he can come by to pick up shipments when he is in the area, you can put him in touch with a local distributor, or you can provide him with a fact sheet about your commitment to the environment.