How do you respond to a customer when you don’t know the answer to the question?
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Answer added by: Abdul Yaseen Mohammed Executive Secretary, Clerical 1 year ago
Never say, "I don't know." That is a basic rule in customer service.
Instead, say, "I will be right back with the information you asked for."
If anyone objects, tell them that if they would prefer, they can hold or go sit over there while you ask your supervisor to help them as soon as he/she is free. That is a good way to get people to cool their jets, because they know it is better to be patient with you than to wait for the supervisor.
Customers expect employees working in the service department to know most, if not everything, about what they are asking for support for which isn't by any means completely unreasonable. Customer service associates should be very knowledgeable in their profession to be considered legit as an individual and as a representative for the entity they work for. The only thing you can do in the situation you describe is to radio another associate to your desk and use the "haul ***!" code CS associates will commonly be required to memorize in the event that your situation comes up. As soon as help arrives, be EXTREMELY specific in your description of what the customer is asking for help with then let them handle the question and listen to the conversation.
Oh, and smile brightly the whole time. Never respond to insulting remarks or annoyed expressions. If you don't react, customers are less likely to escalate.
Answer added by: Lubna Al-Sharif Medical Laboratory Technician 1 year agoCustomers expect employees working in the service department to know most, if not everything, about what they are asking for support for which isn't by any means completely unreasonable.
1- Don't say "I don't know" or "Hold on while I look that up for you" because that is going to get them upset or at the least suspicious of your ability to help them.
2- Do anything else you can that seems proactive to helping them to delay them while you find out :i.e.
putting them on hold while you "check their account" or some such thing - or ask them questions (especially the kind that will get you long winded answers you dont need to pay attention to) while you scan the label or pass a note to your coworker.
3- Describe is to radio another associate to your desk and use the "haul ***!" code.
Customer Service associates will commonly be required to memorize in the event that your situation comes up.
As soon as help arrives, be EXTREMELY specific in your description of what the customer is asking for help with then let them handle the question and listen to the conversation.
Remember that customers are coming in because they don't know how to fix the problem they're having.
They expect you to know the answer to any given question or problem without blinking an eyelash.
If they see you struggle, then they'll behave as you've said and might not even come back for further help.
Keep in mind that before you go into a customer service job, you want to make sure you are as familiar with everything the company sells that you're trying to work for.
Now, nobody's perfect, but it is important that you are as familiar with your company's merchandise, inside and out, as is possible so that if you are asked about anything in the store at any given time, you're ready to answer anything in the most professional and knowledgeable manner possible.
Answer added by: Renae Richardson Education Coordinator/Director 1 year agoYou inform them that you don't have the answer to that but either (a) you know someone who does and you will contact them right away or (b) You know how to find the answer and tell them to give you adequate time to get back with them.
Competence does not mean you have all the answers but that you know where to get those answers if needed.
Integrity means that you are not afraid to let people know that you don't know everything.
Communicating openly and honestly is always the best way to deal with a situation.
People will respect you for it.
For the most part they don't care where you get the answer they just want a solution.
If all you can do is point them in the direction of where to find the right information it is a lot better than misleading them or giving them half answer or non-relevant answers.
Answer added by: Hachem Hachem Logistics Officer 1 year agoWell from my experience in IT Field i found the best answer that i always use is the following Dear customer Please note that your question has been taken into consideration and we will reply to you soon with the best solution.
Please don't hesitate to contact us for future clarifications .
Answer added by: broosk amin Quality Assurance Manager, Safety Officer, 1 year agoas long as the honesty is one of most important criteria in the sells person, Simply say I DON'T KNOW and Promiss him or her you will gonna get the answer for his question from the right persons and deliver it, give him a time frame for answering and deliver it in time, it happens that sometime the managers consider the answer of that question one of the classified information, and they ask you why he asked that question?, always ask the why s for the question that you don't know the answers for it because sometimes you don't know because it is classified the managers will give you the reply, and you will deliver it for your own customer..
He/She will appreciate you more than you think and you will increase the credibility in front of your customer by being honest all the way long, I had faced a question like that once and i did the exact way that made him now one of my good friends and a reliable source of information in addition a long term client
Answer added by: Mehdi Terrak JR Brand manager 1 year agoSimplicity, that's the key.
From my experience , i never answered to a customer when i don't know the answer.
You got two choices, like on poker: You bluff and you are lucky.
You are fair and say that you will revert to him with the correct info.
Make your choice, for me the second is the most used one.
Answer added by: Abo El Hassan El-Tantawy مدير ادارة الموارد البشرية 1 year agoOne of the hardest things to do in all of sales is handle tough questions from skeptical prospective customers.
After interviewing thousands of customers as part of the win-loss studies I have conducted, I can tell you with certainty that answering customer questions successfully is often the difference between winning and losing.
Here are seven points to consider when answering questions: Clarify the question first.
Customers ask two basic types of questions.
Some are very specific questions about a feature or issue, while others are more general about a broad topic or your opinion.
In both instances, make sure you understand the question before answering it.
Either rephrase the question in your own mind using your own words and repeat it to the questioner aloud, or ask the questioner to further explain what he meant before answering.
Many times salespeople are too eager to give an answer to a question that wasn't even asked.
Show your domain expertise.
If you intimately know your industry, company, and products and how they compare against the competition, you need not fear even the toughest question.
Frame the beginning of your answers with statements that confirm your credibility like "Based upon my experience working with X, Y and Z companies" or "I've been asked that many times over the years." Make sure everyone understands.
Since most sales calls are conducted with groups of people, you should give a little background information with your answers to ensure everyone understands the topic of conversation.
Don't assume everyone understands your company's buzzwords or nomenclature.
Provide an expert point of view.
Never forget, your customer would rather do business with a trusted consultant who has intimate knowledge of the industry than an ordinary salesperson who simply understands how the product works.
In fact, you are not actually there to sell anything.
Your goal is to become a trusted advisor by intently listening to the questions the customer asks so that you can apply your expertise to solve the customer's business problems or complete his initiatives.
Ideally, once you have established yourself as an expert the conversation will flow into an off-the-record talk about the politics of his organization and his ulterior motives.
Redirect inane and unfair questions.
Don't get flustered when you are asked an inappropriate question.
Simply redirect the question by saying something like, "The question you really should be asking is ...
" Respond with metaphors.
Metaphors are stories, parables, and analogies that communicate ideas by using examples that people can relate to and identify with.
Metaphors enable complex concepts and theories to be explained in an understandable, interesting, and persuasive manner.
The most important metaphors are examples about the customers that are successfully using your products and services.
Instead of barraging the customer with point-by-point facts and figures, structure your answer in a logical way using an existing customer's impactful storyline.
Demeanor speaks volumes.
The most powerful response to the most difficult question isn't solely the answer you give.
It's also how you say it.
Regardless of the question, keep a calm and confident demeanor.
Most of all, do not get defensive.
This is a critical lesson.
When confronted by someone who disagrees with your opinion, it's okay to disagree without being disagreeable.
The demeanor and communication style used to deliver your answer should be collected and matter-of-fact.
However, you want to build momentum as you make your response and finish on a high note.
This is called a "build up." Whenever you speak to a customer, you want to confidently peak during the final sentence of your paragraph.
You don't want your voice to trail off, signaling uncertainty or lack of conviction.
Remember, behind every question customers ask is an ulterior motive.
They may want to validate a bias or throw you off track.
That's why you shouldn't be too eager to answer or say yes to every question you are asked.
The first step is to quickly theorize why the question was asked.
Then formulate your response strategy to demonstrate your industry and business expertise in order to command respect.
Sometimes, it is best to address inappropriate questions by providing an answer that guides the customer to a different topic.
Most importantly, maintain your composure at all times.
So be sure to prepare your answers in advance to protect yourself from uncomfortable questions about your products, company, and competitors.
A critical aspect of every sales call is not necessarily what you have planned to say.
Rather, it is how you handle the tough questions the customer asks you.
Your question-handling ability is what separates you from the pack.
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