Author Topic: What is a polite response to customers wanting exceptions?  (Read 7122 times)

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snugglegirl05

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What is a polite response to customers wanting exceptions?
« on: March 24, 2012, 08:27:57 AM »
I work as a contract Visitor parking attendant at a university, & there are times when customers ask me to grant them an exception when I have no authority to do that. What is a polite way to let them know I cannot give anyone an exception?

iridaceae

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Re: What is a polite response to customers wanting exceptions?
« Reply #1 on: March 24, 2012, 08:29:40 AM »
"I'm sorry, but I don't have the authority to do that."


LadyL

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Re: What is a polite response to customers wanting exceptions?
« Reply #2 on: March 24, 2012, 09:34:32 AM »
"I could lose my job if I did that, even just once. I'm sure you understand."

iridaceae

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Re: What is a polite response to customers wanting exceptions?
« Reply #3 on: March 24, 2012, 09:48:14 AM »
"I could lose my job if I did that, even just once. I'm sure you understand."

In my experience people rarely do understand this.   

camlan

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Re: What is a polite response to customers wanting exceptions?
« Reply #4 on: March 24, 2012, 10:19:59 AM »
"I could lose my job if I did that, even just once. I'm sure you understand."

In my experience people rarely do understand this.

Sadly, I have to agree. There are some people who want what they want and don't really care who gets burned in the process.

I'd stick with something like, "I'm sorry, but that isn't possible."

Not knowing the ins and outs of your work place, I don't know if this is possible, but when I supervised people who dealt with customers or patrons, I encouraged them to include a possible alternative with every "No" they had to give. So, at the library:  "I'm sorry, that book is checked out. But if you go to the Reference Desk right over there, they can help you to find some other books on the topic." Or, "I'm afraid you aren't eligible to check books out of our library. But you can copy the parts you need--there are copiers right over there. Or you can have your own library request this book on interlibrary loan. Would you like me to write down the information for you?"

In other words, right after you tell them you can't do X, you mention Y, which isn't exactly what they want, but might be a reasonable compromise.

If you can't do that, then just keep politely repeating the same line over and over, "I'm sorry, but X just isn't possible."
Nothing is impossible, the word itself says, “I’m possible!” –Audrey Hepburn


Oh Joy

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Re: What is a polite response to customers wanting exceptions?
« Reply #5 on: March 24, 2012, 10:56:31 AM »
"I'm sorry, but I don't have the authority to do that."

POD, plus I suggest recommending the best alternative.  'There's plenty of available hourly parking in the ramp across the street.'

Best wishes.


Cami

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Re: What is a polite response to customers wanting exceptions?
« Reply #6 on: May 08, 2012, 04:55:21 PM »
"I could lose my job if I did that, even just once. I'm sure you understand."

In my experience people rarely do understand this.

Sadly, I have to agree. There are some people who want what they want and don't really care who gets burned in the process.

I'd stick with something like, "I'm sorry, but that isn't possible."

My dd works at Disney World and guests frequently ask or demand that the rules be broken for them. Most often the rules that want broken are for guest safety.  My dd has tried the statement, "Sorry, I cannot do this because I would be fired."

Most common response?

"I don't care."

dawbs

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Re: What is a polite response to customers wanting exceptions?
« Reply #7 on: May 08, 2012, 04:58:22 PM »
"I could lose my job if I did that, even just once. I'm sure you understand."

In my experience people rarely do understand this.

Sadly, I have to agree. There are some people who want what they want and don't really care who gets burned in the process.

I'd stick with something like, "I'm sorry, but that isn't possible."

My dd works at Disney World and guests frequently ask or demand that the rules be broken for them. Most often the rules that want broken are for guest safety.  My dd has tried the statement, "Sorry, I cannot do this because I would be fired."

Most common response?

"I don't care."

I've found using the phrasing "I'm afraid I consider my job more important than your coffee" works better--it doesn't give them as much room to argue.
And it makes my boss laugh every time  ;)

nuit93

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Re: What is a polite response to customers wanting exceptions?
« Reply #8 on: May 08, 2012, 09:41:23 PM »
"I could lose my job if I did that, even just once. I'm sure you understand."

In my experience people rarely do understand this.

Mine too.  Best thing I could really do was pass the buck and call a supervisor.  Sometimes people are more understanding when it's someone with a title telling them "no".

Cami

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Re: What is a polite response to customers wanting exceptions?
« Reply #9 on: May 09, 2012, 10:04:34 AM »
"I could lose my job if I did that, even just once. I'm sure you understand."

In my experience people rarely do understand this.

Sadly, I have to agree. There are some people who want what they want and don't really care who gets burned in the process.

I'd stick with something like, "I'm sorry, but that isn't possible."

My dd works at Disney World and guests frequently ask or demand that the rules be broken for them. Most often the rules that want broken are for guest safety.  My dd has tried the statement, "Sorry, I cannot do this because I would be fired."

Most common response?

"I don't care."

I've found using the phrasing "I'm afraid I consider my job more important than your coffee" works better--it doesn't give them as much room to argue.
And it makes my boss laugh every time  ;)

My dd tried that as well. Here's how it goes:

Here: "Sorry, but I consider my job more important than you breaking the rules."

Them: "Not to me."

She regularly has to stop rides because of people absolutely refusing to follow safety rules. So the next time you're at Disney World and you're wondering why the ride has stopped? It is often due to other guests refusing to obey the rules.

dawbs

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Re: What is a polite response to customers wanting exceptions?
« Reply #10 on: May 09, 2012, 10:22:38 AM »
Ahh, 'not to me' is when I move to politely snarky. 
"yes, but I"m the authority figure here, so I'm afraid my priorities are the ones that we follow.  You are welcome to take up your complaint with *boss*."

Just Lori

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Re: What is a polite response to customers wanting exceptions?
« Reply #11 on: May 09, 2012, 10:32:18 AM »
I have had some luck with, "I wish I could give you the answer you want, but I can't."  Or, I may say something along the lines of, "I understand you are frustrated, but I simply do not have the authority to grant your request."

There are definitely times when no answer is better than any answer you can come up with, though.  I work for a small, family-owned store.  People come to us because we have very specific items that you may be able to find in a big box store, but you won't find the selection and the accessories.  Our first priority is, of course, to ensure that they come back to us.  But when an extremely difficult customer throws out a threat of taking his business to the big box store, I find that a patient smile and no verbal response is better than anything I can say.  Plus, it keeps me from saying, "Let me get the door for you!"