Have you ever called a vendor to voice a concern and heard this comment: “We haven’t heard that before.” Just yesterday I called a company regarding installation of a window treatment that wasn’t done correctly and when the salesperson said “We haven’t heard that before” I wanted to scream (but didn’t) “What difference does that make to me?”

Interestingly, I was reading a customer service blog today that said: In an average business, for every complaint you hear from a customer, there are 26 others that have the very same complaint, but choose not to tell you. Many businesses and their employees mistakenly think that their customers or clients must be happy or at least satisfied, because they’re not complaining to you. That may be a false assumption that could lead to a significant misperception. Clearly that’s the case in my situation.

So it comes down to a matter of communication training. Instead of “We haven’t heard that before” a far better response would be “(Use person’s name), what matters most is getting the job done to your satisfaction and we want you to be happy. Therefore let’s talk about solutions.” Had I heard that I would have had a very different reaction and it would have instilled confidence in the vendor. It’s really not about problems or mistakes because they can usually be rectified. What truly matters is ensuring the caller or client feels heard and offering assurance that the problem or mistake is a priority and will be resolved.

Therefore, irrespective of your industry, I urge you to think about this scenario. I recommend avoiding at all costs saying “We haven’t heard this before” as it only serves to create frustration. Do some perspective taking and try to put yourself in the other person’s shoes. After all…statistics don’t lie.