We’re always told to never say never; however, when it comes to giving good customer service, there are nine “nevers” you need to know. As I wrote this customer service blog post, I realized there were two more I wanted to add, but I really like the alliteration in our blog title, so we’ll call 10 and 11 “bonus” tips for good customer service.

Without further ado…

  1. Never say no
    No is poisonous. It is finite, and sounds off-putting by itself. Dress it up and let the customer down gently, or even better, convert your answer into an alternative solution!
  2. Never tell a lie
    Don’t lie to your customers. Don’t lie to your colleagues. Don’t lie to your competitors. Don’t lie to anyone. Period.
  3. Never make excuses
    Accountability goes a long way. Avoid making excuses, because it shifts the blame for what happened and does nothing to help the situation. You don’t have to take responsibility, but don’t make an excuse for why something occurred. Just apologize and fix it.
  4. Never use a canned reply
    No one likes talking to a robot. Read, understand, empathize, and respond to the person like you’re talking to a friend.People don’t care how much you know, until they know how much you care.
    [Tweet “#4: People don’t care how much you know, until they know how much you care. #customerservice”]
  5. Never make the customer wait
    Be attentive. Being ignored sucks, and in a digital world, it only takes a second to make someone feel like they’ve been forgotten.[Tweet “#5: Never make the customer wait. Being ignored in a digital world only takes a second. #customerservice”]
  6. Never invite emotions into the mix
    Negative emotions have no place in customer service. A positive attitude, polite demeanor, assertiveness, and kindness go a long way! If all else fails, just ask for help. Remember: you’re talking to a person on the other end of your phone call, tweet, email, or DM.
  7. Never speak negatively about anyone
    This includes competitors, colleagues, companies, customers, etc. It’s not classy.[Tweet “Never speak negatively about anyone. Competitors, colleagues, customers, etc. It’s not classy.”]
  8. Never make the customer feel unimportant
    This is something a lot of companies do – perhaps even unintentionally or unknowingly. But, telling any customer, “We’d love to help you with this issue, but you’re not one of our ‘premium’ customers” (or something of the sort) is just bad for business. Treat every customer like an investor (because they are).[Tweet “Treat every customer like an investor, because they are… #customerservice”]
  9. Never do anything with which you’re uncomfortable
    Your role in the customer service experience should never involve you doing something with which you are personally uncomfortable. If you’re uncomfortable, tell the customer (or your supervisor or colleague) and tell them why you’re uncomfortable.
  10. Never let the customer leave with unanswered questions
    Make sure the customer has all of their questions answered (and always invite them to ask more questions) – even if you don’t know the answers. If the customer asks you a question you don’t know, tell them you don’t know, but find out and get back to them. Accountability goes a long way!
  11. Never, ever, ever forget the golden rule of customer service
    Treat every customer how they want to be treated. [Tweet “Treat every customer how they want to be treated. #customerservice #goldenrule”]

Some people have put creative spins on the golden rule of customer service to be more subjective. For example, “treat each customer as you would want to be treated if you were the customer.”

The version of the golden rule of customer service you like best doesn’t matter. A positive outcome of every customer service interaction, does.