Saying ' No ' Positively


Course introduction

What would your reaction be if a service consultant/provider says “Miss Tan, there’s no more size M for this.” and there’s no attempt to offer an alternative solution or check with its other outlets. Would you prefer it is said as “Miss Tan, looks like our outlet has run out of size M, would you like to try this other design or I could check with our outlet at ABC location if they still have the size you’re looking for?”
Are there more ways to communicate unpleasant information in a more palatable manner? Could we, as service givers, say our good intentions to help customers without sabotaging ourselves? Are there better ways to say ‘No’ to a customer and at the same time making the customer feel that they have benefited from good service?
This workshop will provide a service consultant/provider with solutions in communicating better verbally with their customers through better choices of words or phrases in their face-to-face or telephone situations.
Note: This workshop intends to share customer-friendly phrases for handling situations better and not to teach English.

Course Benefits

Upon completion of this workshop, participants will be able to;

  • Recognise the differences between negative phrases, positive phrases and neutral phrases in customer situations
  • Apply a list of customer-friendly phrases for their daily customer interactions including challenging situations
  • Analyse the common service phrases they use 
  • Identify what not to say in difficult situations
  • Apply effective customer friendly phrases during the hands-on applications of case studies provided
  • Provide solutions to their own unique customer situations with customer friendly phrases

Target Audience

Customer Service Supervisors, Front-Line Executives, Customer Service Executives, Call Centre staff and any person who would like to find a better way to communicate verbally with customers face-to-face or over the telephone.

Course Outline

Module 1: Customer Friendly Phrases versus Negative Phrases

  • Did you “Say it Right”? A personal assessment of what you say. How do you rate?
  • Three vs of Communication
  • Why the need for Customer Friendly Phrases?
  • The Power of Customer Friendly Phrases in handling customer situations
  • Activity M.A.D. Words
  • Tragic Words and Phrases: What not to say to customers
  • “Turn off” language
  • Forbidden phrases
  • Unhelpful words
  • Ten things a service staff should never say
Module 2: Handling Customer Interactions with Customer Friendly Phrases
  • Eight ways to say “No” Positively
  • “Magic words” your customers want to hear
  • Creating positive customer perceptions
  • Diagnosis of common phrases used in face-to-face customer interactions
  • Diagnosis of common phrases used over the telephone customer interactions
  • What to say when the customer becomes verbally / physically abusive
  • Customer Friendly, helpful phrases to use
  • Handling some common customer situations
Module 3: Hands-On Applications
  • Applications of customer-friendly phrases learned in the following case studies:
  • When you have to say NO to a customer
  • When you do not have the solution to what the customer wants
  • When handling various telephone interactions and being politically correct in your responses when handling them
  • When you are new or don’t know the product/service/information requested by the customer
  • When you are in a situation where you need to manage it without referring to your supervisor
  • When your company policies stop you from helping the customer
  • When you are faced with a customer using abusive language
Module 4: Opportunities will be provided for participants to find solutions to their unique customer situations during the workshop

Available Course Sessions

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Trainer Profile


Grace is a highly dynamic and enthusiastic trainer/facilitator and consultant. She has been in the training and development profession for over 30 years with more than 20 years’ experience in consulting, designing, developing and delivering training workshops.

She has delivered training workshops to over 7,500 participants and has received excellent ratings.

She has a passion for the training and development of people and is a firm believer in the enhancement of human capital and life-long learning. Her unique and effective style of communication and her flair in bringing complicated concepts across effectively have greatly helped executives & employees in this region in their work performance. Her last position was that of Training Manager of the Call Centre for the largest local bank. She was responsible for building the training and development plans for over 300 staff in the Centre.

Over the years, she has held responsibilities in areas of learning and development including managing the training function, consulting with organisations, designing, consulting, developing and facilitating training workshops in the areas of customer service, telephone communication, team building, personal effectiveness, business manners & social etiquette, western dining etiquette, train-the-trainers, DISC Personality Profiling, Multiple Intelligences Profiling. Her professional alignments are with the Institute of Technical Education where she trains the Train-the-Trainers Programme.