Coffee And Customer Service: Avoiding The Word NO

We didn’t plan on doing a hang out this morning but had such a lively discussion in our morning meeting today that we thought it best to discuss further.  We were discussing ways to avoid saying NO to our customers and when and if it is ok to do so.  This is an extremely tricky topic in customer service and one we’ve written about extensively in the past. I’m convinced that great customer service organizations rarely say no to their customers.

Enjoy our hang out today and feel free to join in the discussion.  We want to hear what tips and tricks you have for us and our customer service team.



Jeremy Watkin is a Product Marketing Manager at 8x8. He has more than 19 years of experience as a customer service professional leading high performing teams in the contact center. Jeremy has been recognized numerous times as a thought leader for his writing and speaking on a variety of topics including quality management, outsourcing, customer experience, contact center technology, and more. When not working you can typically find him spending quality time with his wife Alicia and their three boys, running with his dog, or dreaming of native trout rising for a size 16 elk hair caddis. Be sure to connect with him on Twitter and LinkedIn.


  • I worked a very high volume call center as a phone customer service rep. We had higher end customers because the business provided textbooks for private highschools that were feeder schools to ivy league colleges. All that translates to higher end = really stuffy. We rarely ever said the word no and I had learned to avoid it like the plague.
    My then boyfriend (now husband) and I were diving the strip in Vegas on a vacation in the midst of my company’s busy season. He was looking for a place to turn around. I saw the ‘No U-Turns’ sign before he did and said without thinking at all: U-turns are not available at this time. It was years ago and we still laugh at it. No is harsh, but harsh customers are the best training ground for eliminating that word from our vocabularies!

    • Jeremy Watkin

      Hey Heather, thanks so much for reading and commenting. That is really funny that call center lingo spilled into your driving. I love it when that happens…kind of. ~Jeremy

  • Jenny Dempsey

    HAHA I can just hear you saying that and Jeremy (your husband, not our Jeremy) giving you a funny look 🙂

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