Don't Make False Promises as a customer service rep

How did you feel the last time someone broke a promise to you?

In our personal lives, we may feel betrayed, disappointed, or undervalued by a loved one who breaks a promise to us. In the workplace, we may feel undervalued, ignored, or misunderstood by a co-worker or manager who does.

The same feelings often echo between our personal and professional lives.

While you may not consider yourself to be in a professional situation as a customer who is clicking “submit” in your shopping cart on a website like Amazon.com, for example, this is the beginning of a professional relationship between you and a business. For a customer service rep, this is especially true.

On the receiving end of this interaction is both the business and customer service rep. Put yourselves in the shoes of a customer service rep and their ability to make or break promises – maybe you are one!

As a customer service rep, you should be mindful of your interactions with the customer and promises you make them throughout their shopping experience. This ideology applies to both B2C and B2B marketplaces.

When you break a promise, you aren’t just representing your own morality, but the credibility and reputation of your place of work.

If you make a promise to a customer, be sure you can deliver on that promise.

Empty promises can ruin a brand’s reputation, especially if they are a consistent experience for the customer. One of the worst things that a customer service rep can do is make an empty promise to a customer, especially if they are a first-timer.

You want to ensure they return, and breaking promises can leave a nasty first impression, promote disengagement, and decrease customer retention rates. Don’t overpromise and underdeliver.

For example, if your website says its estimated that a package will arrive to a customer within 7-10 days, but you tell them 5 via their selected channel of engagement (i.e. email, phone, social media, website chat) and it is not delivered within this timeframe, they will not be satisfied with the effectiveness of your brand.

Being aware of your company policies, procedures, and quality standards is one way to prevent this from happening, and ensure you are providing excellent customer service and keeping false promises out of the conversation.

If you are unsure about where or how to get the tools you need to succeed with your customers in your role, consult a more seasoned rep or your leadership. Attend ongoing coaching sessions with a chosen mentor to ensure your skills and practices are aligned with your business’ values.

Making this (common) customer service mistake may lead to the customer moving over to your competitor, issuing a series of complaints, becoming a disloyal brand advocate, poking at your business’ reputation, and more.

The power of the modern consumer to spread the word about their negative experience should not be undermined, and this isn’t meant to scare you, but make you aware in your role about how you can best address and speak to your customer.

It helps to make you aware of your function’s power and importance in the grand scheme of your company’s story! Positive customer engagements are highly valuable.

Customers, after all, are the reason your business exists! Without them, you wouldn’t have the opportunity to be where you are anyway.

To remedy this later, you may issue a promotional credit to apologize for a delay in shipment and reach out to them via your company email to address the misstep in service.


Learn more about how to effectively train customer service reps in this eBook from Ledgeview Partners.

Available for complimentary download!


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Digital Marketing Specialist