At a recent lunch, I saw a sign as I walked into the restaurant:
Please note: To better serve you, Gloria’s Restaurant does not take reservations or call aheads, thank you.
How does no reservations or call aheads better serve the customer?
What if the customer doesn’t want to wait a long time and prefers reservations? This restaurant doesn’t match his style.
One of my favorite lessons from Jeffrey Gitomer’s book Customer Satisfaction is Worthless, Customer Loyalty Is Priceless was how to tell a customer “no.”
Instead of telling a customer what you don’t do or won’t accept, start by saying, “In order to be fair to every one”¦” and then explain why.
This keeps the tone positive and even deflects the customer-vs-business stance and redirects it to the single customer vs her fellow customers. And who doesn’t want to be treated fairly?
So try rewording your customer-facing messages to be less about what you can’t do and more about what you can do and why.