Customer Service Should Help, instead of not knowing

No. #5 of the Top Five Things Businesses Should Do to Piss Off Their Customers


When did it become wrong to use the words: “I don’t know”?

Customer Service Should Help, instead of not knowing

Help me solve my problem

When I come into your business, I’m probably going to have questions. Whether it’s about the product or service I’m interested in or perhaps some alternatives you may offer. Hell, I may even ask about your competitors and how your business measures up in comparison.

If you don’t know the answer to my question, the correct answer is you don’t know but you’ll find out. If we’re on the phone, the same applies. As your customer, I’m really OK if you don’t the answers to all my questions just so long as I know that you are working for me to get those answers.  Customers are very understanding when we feel we are part of the process and not just left hanging.

The absolute wrong answer is some half-ass response. You, as the business, and me, as the customer or client, know you either just made something up, defaulted to “our service/product is awesome” or just made a feeble attempt to redirect me.

Solve my problem, don’t sell me with the wrong information.


  • Love your blog, in general. A little off-topic, but as for engagement with the customer (and the bulk of my exp has been export mktg for Japanese manufacturers), what drives me batty about Japanese people, in their companies is the following:
    They’ll get a request from a customer for which their answer is “no.” Or some variation of “no.” They do not reply. They leave the customer waiting, to “figure out” that their supplier will not comply.
    If you need to turn me down, I want that information quickly. Bad news delivered lets me make decisions. Waiting to “figure out” that you can’t do what I want only compounds the problem for me.
    BTW, in twitter, in english I am @osakasaul / Japanese @SynterGrow See the KdL Group/LinkedIn as well.

    • I can completely understand the frustration that would have for a customer. My only concern is if this is a Western vs. Eastern way of doing things. I have often heard Japanese culture avoids firm negative responses as a way of saving face. What are your thoughts?

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