5 Alternatives To “I Don’t Know” Answers In Customer Support

Customer support involves answering to different questions about certain products and services. As a business owner, you prepare your employees for various cases by

  • teaching them as much as you can about your offerings
  • encouraging them to constantly learn about your offerings
  • explaining them how to deal with crisis situations

You put a lot of effort in this process to make sure you deliver excellent customer support.

Yet, there are situations when representatives may receive questions they can only answer in one way: “I don’t know.” Customers may look for information your employees have not heard of or are out of their area of expertise.

Although it can be unpleasant, it’s absolutely normal for this to happen. Support representatives cannot know the answers to all the possible questions related to your offerings.

How to deal with “I don’t know” situations

It’s not the situation you want to avoid. It’s the “I don’t know” answer. Learning to deal with such scenarios is an important lesson in customer support. It can make the difference between an unpleasant and a positive customer experience and between good and excellent customer service.

The “I don’t know” answer can be easily avoided by using certain positive customer support phrases. Here are 5 alternatives to the “I don’t know” answer to help you deliver great customer support.

“Great question! I will check it for you.”

When you encounter a new question, it is important to keep your mind open and solution-oriented. Using the “I don’t know” answer can block you from seeing new possible ways of dealing with the situation.

This phrase is also a great alternative to common answers such as “I’m sorry, I’m new” or “I have never heard of this before.” It shows you are a cooperative person, willing to help your customers in every way you can.

When you check for the answer your customers need, you can look in your products and services documentation or you can ask other support representatives about this problem.

“Before I answer, let me look up […]”

Similar to the previous phrase, this one is also a great alternative to the “I don’t know” answer.

Another way you can find out more about your customers’ problem is by looking at their profile. Pay attention to what products and service they are using, their recent activity and see if there is any connection between this and the problem they are experiencing.

The phrase goes perfectly in this scenario. Not only does it buy you some time, but it also shows your customers you pay attention to every little detail in order to find a solution.

“Let me assure I understand what you’re asking for.”

When you feel you don’t know the answer to a question, try reproducing it in your own words. It can help you understand it better or trigger some ideas in your mind about how to deal with the situation.

This phrase makes your customers believe you are trying to understand their problem correctly in order to deliver a suitable solution. It may be efficient and may buy you some time without creating an unpleasant experience for your customers.

“I will connect you with our […] specialist. He has great experience in the field and will be able to answer your […]”

Transferring your customers to another support representative is another alternative to saying “I don’t know.” If you know a support representative has experience in the field or has dealt with certain types of problems, this can be a great move.

The most important part here is how you do it. Being transferred from one representative to another is one of the most annoying steps in customers experience. You need to show them you are offering the best service and solutions for their problem.

“Based on what we know, I can tell you […]”

When you encounter a new question, try thinking of your experience with a certain product, service or similar situations. You are giving out an informed opinion which may become a possible solution. Also, you are making things clear for your customers, helping them understand better the problem.

“I don’t know” is hardly a good answer in customer support. Fortunately, there are great alternatives which can help you deliver excellent customer service and experiences.

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