Monday, September 20


You've heard the phrase "just this once," since being a kid. You ask for something from your parents, guardians, or family members that you know is not a normal request, but you still ask. And the response you hear more often than not is, "one-time only."

We encounter the same situations in customer service. Our customers have a request that is not in our standard answer Rolodex provided by management, and we reluctantly and hesitantly grant the special favor with a very agitated, "this is a one-time only" request, favor, or credit. For starters, the request was out of the norm. Second, the request was granted and accepted. Third, you want me to be happy. So why do you tell me that it is one-time only?

This is an ole' stand-by defense mechanism to prevent abuse from customers who are trying to get something for nothing. But the problem is that as a representative, manager, and company, you had the choice to tell the customer no. Which, in some cases, is better than granting a "one-time only" provision. Customers are smarter, more educated, and have greater soft skills so customer service departments must find another method.

Same service with different approach:
1. Thank the customer- Tell them you appreciate the opportunity to fix the problem
2. Identify uniqueness- Restate the uniqueness of the event.
3. Find solution- Solve the problem
4. Educate the customer- Help your customer understand you have to evaluate these situations as they come up to ensure all parties are satisfied.
5. It's about the customer- And finally thank your customer for being part of the solution. Collaboration+Great Service= Customer Advocate

Surely, you have encountered this before. What ideas can you add to the resolution. There are other ways to address this topic. Share your comments here:


  1. YES!! I wrote recently about the whole "customer always being right" misnomer and how we as companies and service providers have encouraged bad behavior by rewarding it.. Don't like your meal? It's FREE! Size not in stock? Here's a different style with a 50% discount. The customers ARE much more savvy now and expect it. In my restaurant management days, I used to train my asst. managers to offer them a discount the next time they came back. Worked much better for the ones that truly were sincere with their feedback.
    Great post.

  2. Kristen.

    Perfect. You definitely were ahead of many managers in those days. People were ready to just give the farm away without truly understanding what was at stake. And lots of times it was than reputation! Thanks for stopping by and adding value.

    Serving You,