Provide Customer Service Excellence To Those Who Say “No”

Ever worked hard on a proposal and not been awarded the contract? When it happens to me, I say “Thank you.

My follow-up notes read like this:

“Thank you for the opportunity to get to know you better and offer my services to you. I hope we have a chance to work together in the future. In the meantime, I wish you the best of success. Feel free to contact me when I may be of assistance.”

This note creates good feelings for everyone and is an example of customer service excellence. The prospect may contact me in the future. If someone else asks about me, he may give a positive comment or an active referral.

Consider the different reactions in these two examples.

I interviewed a consultant but decided not to hire her at this time. She went totally silent, no longer responding to my messages. I wonder if she felt I owed her the business since we met once to discuss it? Or that I should not have chosen another consultant, or could not simply change my mind?

This short-term reaction can have a long-term impact. I often refer people within my business network. Her cordial reply would have secured my positive word of mouth.

I met twice with a financial planner, but made a decision not to use his services. He called me to explore my reasons and accepted them with grace and demonstrated true customer service excellence. He asked if he could stay in touch in the future. I gladly agreed. He asked me for referrals when appropriate, which I also agreed to do.

Key Learning Point For Customer Service Excellence

Your prospect may become your client in the future, and influence your reputation in the present. Keep customer service excellence in mind even if you don’t get the contract or job.

Action Steps For Customer Service Excellence

When you make a proposal and you don’t get the business, make an extra effort to leave a positive impression at the end. Customer service excellence in the face of adversity can pay off for you down the road.


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Copyright, Ron Kaufman. Used with permission. Ron Kaufman is the world’s leading educator and motivator for upgrading customer service and uplifting service culture. He is author of the bestselling “Uplifting Service” book and founder of Uplifting Service. To enjoy more customer service training and service culture articles, visit

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