Six Hidden Costs of Saying “NO”

There is no shortage of reasons to tell a customer “no.” In some cases, the law requires it! It’s up to us to communicate necessary rejection while preserving the customer’s goodwill towards us. Our actions when denying a customer decide the outcome.

Originally published by ICMI. Read the full article at

Rejection hurts. More commonly dreaded than snakes or spiders, it’s an almost universal fear. It’s unpleasant to give and even less pleasant to receive. No one likes to be denied, and it can bring out the worst in people. Regrettably, rejection is often a necessary function of contact centers and customer service professionals. It’s one thing to tell a customer that their preferred flight is fully booked or their favorite product is sold out; most customers understand this scarcity is just part of life. Refusing customers based on seemingly arbitrary policies and procedures is another beast entirely.

In my current role, the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) regulates the disclosure of student information. Regardless of age, upon enrollment in a university, it restricts the dissemination of academic records. Even if your sixteen-year-old child is taking a dual-credit course while in high school, we’re prohibited by law from sharing certain information with parents. For parents, loss of control and involvement is painful even when their kids turn eighteen; it’s practically unimaginable before then! It creates a unique challenge because parents are still vital to students’ academic success. If for no other reason, the institution must maintain a good relationship with parents to ensure they keep signing checks.

Continue reading on ICMI.

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