How do I end a live chat with a customer when I can't give them what they want?

call control live chat best practices

Ending a live chat with a customer, especially when you can't fulfill their request, requires tact, empathy, and clear communication. Here's a structured approach to handle such situations:


Express Empathy

Start by expressing understanding and empathy towards their situation. This helps in making the customer feel heard and valued.

Example: "I understand how important this is for you and I truly wish we could accommodate your request."


Be an empathic customer service professional from Empathy for Customer Service Professionals by Myra Golden


Provide a Clear Explanation

Be honest and transparent about why you can't fulfill their request. Avoid using overly technical language or complex jargon.

Example: "Unfortunately, due to our current policy limitations, we're unable to offer this service at the moment."


Offer Alternatives

If possible, suggest alternative solutions that could help the customer or guide them towards a different resource.

Example: "However, we can offer you [alternative solution] that might meet your needs effectively."


Offer options to guide customers forward and preempt escalations from Delivering Bad News to a Customer by Myra Golden


Assure Future Assistance

Let the customer know that you are there to help with any future inquiries or issues they might have. This leaves the door open for positive future interactions.


Example: "We're always looking for ways to serve you better, so please don't hesitate to reach out in the future for any assistance."


Thank the Customer

Gratitude goes a long way. Thank the customer for their understanding and for reaching out to you.

Example: "Thank you for your understanding and for bringing this to our attention. We truly value your feedback."


Close the Conversation Politely

End the conversation on a polite and positive note, ensuring the customer feels the interaction was professional and courteous.

Example: "If there's nothing else I can assist you with today, I wish you a great day ahead. Take care!"

Get customer calls resolved faster from Customer Service: Call Control Strategies by Myra Golden


Additional Tips:

  • Maintain a Positive Tone: Throughout the interaction, keep your tone positive and helpful, even when delivering disappointing news.
  • Personalize Your Responses: Use the customer's name and personalize your responses where possible to make the interaction feel more genuine.
  • Follow-Up: If appropriate, follow up with the customer after the chat to see if they need further assistance or to provide updates on their initial request.


Handling such situations gracefully can turn a potentially negative experience into a positive one, or at the very least, mitigate disappointment. For more help with customer service with customers in live chat or over the phone, check out my Customer Service Master Class

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