Embarrassing or humiliating a customer is always a bad thing, even in situations where the customer has made a stupid mistake or is angry and unpleasant. Providing a face-saving out is a way to avoid embarrassing a customer, blaming a customer, or pointing out a customer error or deficiency.
The best way to explain is through example. Let’s say a customer appears not to understand what an employee has told him,and,even though the employee has given him written material to help him understand, he’s still not getting it.The employee could say, “Well, if you read the material you were given, you would understand.”That has potential to show up the customer, particularly if that person has difficulty reading, which is not uncommon.
Instead, the employee can offer a face-saving out as follows:
“Perhaps the written material isn’t very clear or I haven’t explained myself well, so let me see if I can talk you through this, since it can get complicated.”
This removes the blame component by moving responsibility to the employee, while trying not to point out any
reading comprehension problems the customer might have.
From Perfect Phrases for Customer Service, Second Edition (Perfect Phrases Series)
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