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Fast 5

Five things you and your employees should never say to a customer



1. "It's been so crazy/busy around here." Often used as an excuse for a delay or mistake, it may leave your customers wondering whether you're too busy for them.

2. "You'll have to wait." When you're experiencing delays, consider giving customers a choice: "I can help you in five minutes or you can order from our Web site."

3. "That's not my job." A better alternative: "Let me find someone who can help you with that."

4. "I can't make a meeting that day because I'm going to (fill in a too-personal detail)." Rather than letting clients know they're being back-burnered for your son's Little League game, say that you have a conflict and leave it at that.

5. "Can you call/come back later?" They won't.

Gwen Moran is a freelance writer and co-author of The Complete Idiot's Guide to Business Plans (Alpha, 2010).

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This article was originally published in the May 2000 print edition of Entrepreneur with the headline: Fast 5.

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