How to Say ‘No’ to Customers On Live Chat Without Turning Them Off

There is nothing that disappoints customers the way hearing ‘no’ does. 

Sometimes businesses can’t help but refuse a customer’s request. Regardless of how genuine your reasons for doing so might be, customers who are on the receiving end of the ‘no’ end up feeling disappointed and write negative reviews against your business online.

This is indeed one of the most undesired and hostile part of customer service workflow. This is what makes it difficult for live chat agents to handle customers and the reason why you have probably landed on this page. 

how to say "no" to customers

As much as customers expect live chat systems to get them quick responses, they secretly hope to get all positive answers, which is not possible. So, how do you think you can say ‘no’ to your customers on the website help desk without enlisting yourself for negative reviews?

Here are a few effective tips to do so. 

Say It Without Saying It

Yes, one way you can say ‘no’ to your customers without disappointing them is by saying it without actually saying it. Sounds crazy? But it works!

The reason behind most dissatisfied customers is a direct ‘no’ that they get on website live chats. The best way you can say no is not using the word itself and turning negative responses into positive ones. For example, if a customer is asking for a product named ‘ABC’ that you don’t have in stock, reply by saying:

“How about trying XYZ instead of ABC? We have recently introduced this advanced version of the same product and our customers are loving it.” 

Or simply say ‘yes’ instead of saying ‘no’. 

For example, if you also have a physical store and one of your customers on chat support is asking about the availability of ABC product in it but you only sell it online. 

“The product is too fragile to be kept in stores, therefore, it is only available online. We will email you all the details of the product that you need to know before making a purchase. Please let us know if you’d like to place an order.” 

Clarify Before You Say No

If there are no possibilities for you turn a no into a yes when answering your customers on live chat, say it but clarify before you do that.

Don’t rush when you have to say no. Take on the two stages of clarification before you do that. First, confirm if they really are asking about the same thing. Second, clarify why you have to say no. 

In the first phase, use phrases like, “If I am not wrong, you are asking about…”

In the second stage, begin by apologizing and then state the reason behind saying no and provide a solution. For example:

“I am sorry to be giving this news but this product is currently not in stock due to massive demand. If you’d like, we can notify you when it is available or suggest an alternative.”

Follow Up

The last thing you can do to say ‘no’ to your customers without turning them off is by making up with a ‘yes’ as soon as you can. If you have said no to someone asking about a product on your website live chat support, drop them a message or an email when the product is available. 

Keep them informed and show them that their needs are cared for.