Saying “No” Can Actually Be the Best Customer Service You Give Your Clients

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Yes.

Sure.

Absolutely!

Simply reading positive words like these makes us happy – which may explain why staffing and recruiting firms so often say “Yes” to customers when they should really say “No.”

“But Victoria,” you ask, “Isn’t great customer service all about ‘going the extra mile’ to make clients happy?”

Well, yes – and no.  If you spend a little time online, you’ll find lots of seemingly valid reasons why you should never say “No” to a customer.  But what if a client asks you to meet an impossible deadline?  Recruit candidates well outside your area of expertise?

Certainly, you should always do whatever you reasonably can to create a great customer experience.  But to consistently deliver truly shareworthy service – and maintain clients over the long-term – I’d advise you to say “No” to clients when they ask you to do something that:

  • you don’t have the resources for;
  • you don’t have the expertise for;
  • you can’t attain the capacity for.

I understand that this sounds completely antithetical to the fundamental business principles of staffing.  Every day, you show your clients how they can use your services to accomplish these very things!  But think about it for a minute.  If you say “Yes” under circumstances like the ones I’ve listed above, you can fail miserably – and wind up falling below expectations, undermining trust and ultimately alienating your best customers.

Let’s face it.  No staffing service or recruiting firm is great at everything.  That’s why saying “No” can be the biggest favor you’ll ever do for a client.  It’s smarter business to tell a client that you can’t do something upfront, than to make promises you just can’t keep.  In the end, your client will respect your honesty and trust you even more.

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