What To Do When A Customer Wants Information Your Employer Does Not Allow You To Give Out
Customers will sometimes ask for information thatyou’re not permitted to give out, because it might compromise
the privacy of others, pose a security threat, or result in the sharing of proprietary information the company doesn’t allow to be circulated. The trick here is to refuse in a professional and polite way that’s less likely to create a long, drawn-out argument.
Techniques You Can Use To Respond:
■ Acknowledge Customer’s Needs (1)
■ Explain Reasoning or Actions (2)
■ Provide Alternatives (3)
Example Dialogue Showing How To Use The Techniques With a Customer
In this short interaction, the customer asks for the home phone number of the department manager.
Customer: Since he’s not in, I’d like to contact him at home.What’s his number?
Employee: I understand you want to resolve this quickly (1), but I’m not allowed to give out that information. Everyone deserves some time off from work, and our staff isn’t available for home phone calls (2). What I can do is arrange for you to talk to someone else who’s available right now who can help solve your problem (3).
Why The Techniques Work In Customer Service
In this example, the employee handles the situation by acknowledging the customer’s desire to deal with his problem quickly (1) and then provides a brief explanation of why she can’t give out the number (2). The reason it’s good to provide an explanation is that it makes the response sound less bureaucratic or arbitrary. Finally, the employee offers an alternative (3). This tends to soften the refusal.
Hints For Refusing A Customer Request:
When refusing a customer’s request, explain why you are refusing. That sends the message that you aren’t being
arbitrary, but are interested in helping the customer understand the reasoning behind the refusal.
Explanations should be short, followed by offering some sort of alternative that might address the customer’s
This technique, and almost a hundred others are based on: