Breaking Bad News to Customers: Five Tips to Soften the Blow


Here are five strategies for delivering bad news with compassion.

Breaking bad news to customers is not an easy task. However, occasionally, it’s a duty that many business people must carry out with empathy and professionalism.

Here are five strategies for delivering the message with compassion:

1. Tell the truth. People tend to fear what they do not understand. Put the situation into perspective for your customer. Give as much information as you can about the who, what, when, where and why.

2. Put yourself in the customer’s shoes. It’s useless and naïve to tell customers not to worry or expect them not to get frustrated. They ARE worried, and maybe even angry at how the events will affect them (or their companies) personally. Don’t leave them guessing. Give them all the facts.

3. Acknowledge their feelings. Don’t invalidate their feelings by suggesting the situation is “not that bad.” This is also not a time for humor. Let them vent. Negative emotions must be dealt with before they can be replaced with a positive plan of action.

4. Take charge. Outline a specific plan of action that you and your company will take. Assume ownership for the customer’s situation.

5. Follow through. Make it your priority to track the progress on the customer’s problem within your company. Make frequent status reports to the customer until the situation is resolved to his or her satisfaction.



+1 I think they are learning everything the hard way at this point, I hope they read this and get this plan in place. It’s not that difficult to do, just do it.


In any moment of decision, the best thing you can do is the right thing, the next best thing is the wrong thing, and the worst thing you can do is nothing.

Theodore Roosevelt


SERIOUSLY! Wake up, @rob and @JulioMiles! We’re waiting… All I can figure out now is some random people who ordered less than me and later than me got their starter kits (some even got their soylent), and are being promised that they will be the first to receive their soylent, while I just sit here waiting… and waiting… and waiting… What do I get? Nothing. Apparently my 4 month order (not to mention my roommate’s 2 month order) is worthless to you and you don’t care about your customers. I don’t want a t-shirt, I want to know what is going on, and why you’re not shipping largest orders first, as promised.


That’s a misleading thread title. My first thought was actually about the show Breaking Bad. Needless to say I am disappointed.


In the next season of the show Walt switches from meth to making DIY Soylent in a trailer in the desert.


They’d better hope not, he’d get supply out so fast our heads would spin, RL wouldn’t last long against WW.


This whole thing is why I resisted the temptation to order more than two weeks worth.

No extra money tied up, and by the time they get to my order the kinks will have been worked out.

In the meantime I’m just chilling.


Maybe Rob and Julie ARE cooking meth out in the dessert…maybe that’s why they cant reply…no wifi…Car wash…Soylent…same difference…also…Rosa Labs…good way to get a bunch of chemicals past any suspecting eyes…seems like a guild trip…killing people with meth…gotta fix the kharma so they put out soylent to counter their negative contribution to the world…it all makes perfect sense now.


Jesse Pinkman has all the Soylent in his basement. Bitch.


And here’s a demonstration of why the five tips don’t work…


What do you mean ? @starchasertyger


Read the post I replied to.

I agree with your points, but now it’s too late. People are on the floor screaming and crying and kicking their heels and there’s no chance now of civilized discourse, as there’s nothing at all they can say to make them happy. Including ‘we’ll immediately have just your soylent flown to you by drones and you’ll have it in five minutes’, because then they’ll start crying about ‘why didn’t you do that before’.


I think you are assuming that the 5 tips will satisfy everyone, that isn’t the point. It’s maintaining trust with enough of the interested parties to avoid a Public Relations meltdown. Managing in crisis is a well understood and much good advice on, however they seem to be learning about it the hard way. Those that don’t study history, are bound to repeat it.