How To Correct A Lying Customer

Customers Who Lie. Customers Who Exaggerate

How Can I Correct A Customer Who Is Exaggerating?

Customers will often exaggerate to make their situation sound more serious than it is, or to put themselves in a positive light.

While customers can do this intentionally as a form of manipulation, the majority of the time it’s not thought out. Human beings do this kind of thing all the time.

Let’s look at an example:

A customer complains that he’s been on hold for twenty-five minutes. You know absolutely that he’s been waiting “only” ten┬áminutes.

What do you say?

You could correct the person by saying: “Sir, that’s not accurate. I know you’ve only been on the line for ten minutes”, and then what happens? All hell breaks loose, and you waste time arguing a point that is, by and large, irrelevant to why the person called in the first place.

Unless the “factual error” is directly relevant and important to the discussion’s purpose, do NOT correct. It’s pointless.

Instead, apologize for the wait (any wait is frustrating to a customer), and move on to the point of the call.

Some Tips On Dealing With Exaggeration

  • Unless the error is directly related to the point of the interaction, ignore it and focus on the point of the conversation.
  • Do not get suckered into taking a lie personally. Nobody likes to be taken in by someone lying, and the natural tendency is to “call someone” on his or her falsehood, but that results in greater stress, and wasted time.
  • If you cannot “prove” that the customer is wrong, think twice about calling attention to the falsehood or exaggeration. If you have no way to prove your position, then you end up arguing a la you said, he said, and that’s a waste of time.
  • If you need to correct a customer, then do so gently, and express the correction in a way that suggests you are open to being wrong.

    For example: “Mr. Smith, I’m pretty sure that your receipt indicates you purchased this on August 1th, and not the 14th, but it is hard to read. Could that be the case? Much better.”

Author: Robert Bacal

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