Delivering Bad News Effectively

By Christine |

Every category has some type of "bad news" question, whether it is the attorney who has to tell the criminal that they’re facing a decade in prison, the appliance tech who has to tell the customer that a brand new washing machine is defective, or the antiques appraiser who breaks the news that the customer’s teacup is hardly worth the tea inside.

BUT – there are actually a lot of very effective ways to handle these situations where you can still help the customer and provide value – and, of course, get an excellent rating.  Here are some great examples we’ve seen to “soften the blow” when tackling bad news.

The key seems to be being upfront and honest right away, and then if you can, adding value to the customer:

“Unfortunately, it sounds like you have a blown hard drive and you’ll likely need to take it in to get it replaced.  But before I send you out to do that, let’s check every possibility to be sure it isn’t something else in an effort to save you from that expensive repair.”

“The tea cup you recently purchased is a ___________, which I am very sorry to have to tell you has not increased in value over the years. If you find yourself at more garage sales, here are some tips on finding potential “keepers” that will have a better likelihood of increasing in value over time: .…”

Remember, customers come to JustAnswer or because they either want to save money or time – which can you help with?


What do you do to soften bad news? Add your thoughts in the comments below.

Have more questions? Submit a request