Can Saying No to Your Customers Make Them Happier? Read the GGR blog to find out!

Heather Wendt
Heather Wendt HLAdmin, Member Posts: 321 Gain Grow Retain Staff
GGR Staff 5 Likes First Anniversary 5 Insightfuls
edited May 2022 in GGR Cafe

This week, we share a post from Sylvie Woolf as she takes a look at the old adage "the customer is always right." It turns out that especially in Customer Success, this mentality can lead to churn instead of the happy customer we all want to see.

Sylvie takes a look at the need to not simply agree and move forward with every request, but instead to find out what they ACTUALLY want to accomplish. In other words, do they need a drill bit, the hole that the drill bit creates, or are they trying to hang a picture and those are simply tools? Often customers look at the tools they need to accomplish the task, but CSMs can help them look more strategically at the end goal and help them figure out what is truly needed to be successful.

After reading the post, take a moment to answer the following:

  1. Sylvie states that the best time to start "flexing your 'no' muscle" is during discovery by making sure the goal-setting and outcomes are fully developed. Do you find this to be true? Why or why not?
  2. While saying 'no' is important, HOW you say it is critical. What are some ways you have found to make the 'no' easier for the customer to take?


  • Amanda Flurry
    Amanda Flurry Member Posts: 11 Navigator
    First Comment First Anniversary Name Dropper

    This post is a great encouragement to see the big picture with customers!

    I absolutely find Sylvie's take on goal setting and outcomes to ring true, especially when she talks about customers wanting to dive in and play around. I think that is true of many SaaS products. There is a fine line for the customer of needing to learn functionality and apply it to business outcomes. I find it beneficial to redirect back to the "why", especially when seeing the potential for rabbit holes. Asking whether the topic is necessary to achieve the desired outcome helps everyone stay on track!

    Helping the customer understand what is possible and why limitations exist is huge! Getting them excited about what is possible helps alleviate pain around what is not possible. 

  • Allison Mortens
    Allison Mortens Member Posts: 9 Navigator
    First Comment First Anniversary Name Dropper

    I love this article for so many reasons, the first being that the customer is not always right. This was one of the first lessons I learned at the beginning of my career, which has served both me and my customers well. I make it a point to the customer that I'm the expert on the product and they're the expert on their business practices, so we collaborate together with our respective expertise to find the best solution.

    When saying "no" to a customer, it's important to tell them no and why you're telling them no. When I have to say "no" I frame it as, "No - and let me tell you why." Like @Amanda Flurry said, helping the customer understand the "why" to the "no" is so important!

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