Delivering Bad News Tactfully and Effectively

Customer service is very important to almost every individual. If its getting help at an auto-body shop, restaurant, or a shopping mall. How the employee handles your situation is a critical factor when deciding to return and continue using their business.

While I lived in Cincinnati, Ohio I was in logistic sales. Now when I worked with a client, they didn’t care if I had a bad day, lost a sale earlier or gained a sale right before their phone call. That client at that moment wanted to know what I could do for them and at what price. Yes I used examples of my work to gain their trust, but they where the center of the phone call while I conducted my needs assessment. I finally closed on a new client who moved air plain parts, which was high value and had major potential to my book of business. Joel gave me my first load and gave me all the instructions for how he wanted it delivered. The product was a cowl (nose of a plane) and was being shipped in a crate. The crate needed to have a tarp on it, needed strapped down and needed to be on a flatbed trailer. It was an over sized, which meant that since it was coming from Florida heading to Texas, it needed to have permits in every state it was going to travel. On top of that, Oversized shipments can’t travel past 12pm during the weekends (if I remember the situation correctly). I got the load for $5000 dollars and got a truck driver on it for a surprising $3100, leaving me a commission of $1,900 for my very first load with my new client, almost to good to be true. This was just one trial load from my new client which, if done right, would bet me five total every week and with profits like that, I was set.

Down came my high hopes when my driver didn’t get all the permits after he told me he did and received a ticket, thus setting him back a couple days on delivery. Then I found out he never put a tarp on the load, causing the crat to fall apart while in transit to delivery…Then the cherry on top was the fact that the driver, was fired right before taking my shipment from his trucking company and was on the verge of hijacking my/client’s load. The driver delivered two days late with $4500 worth of damages and about $1500 in fines. I was honest with my client from the start. Informing him about everything. The company the driver worked for was in great A+ standing with our company and it was my fault for not doing my due diligence on the driver. I took the blame and paid for everything to gain this customer. I was honest and stayed up late those nights negotiating with the driver for delivery to my customer’s customer. This was my first load with my new client, the load from hell.

After it was all said and done. I received an email from the President from the air craft company. He knew have been working on getting them for about 8 months and was patient and knew what happen with the load. Jason told me that Joel, his logistics manager, trusted me even after the shipment and heard about my “eating” the first load to make up for what happen. It was this day, that I realized that patience and honesty can, at times do good in sales, normally sink or swim war.

This is how I would handle the assignment’s question. I would contact the employee via email or work aim account. Inform them that I would like to set time out during the day to have a meeting. I would give him/her two options, rather then just saying a time. This is done to give the other individual some type of warranted say…ish for a meeting time. Once time is agreed upon I would be honest. I would use facts in what/how I present the issues with the employee. Customer reviews, phone calls, emails, etc. Stressing the importance of having happy client, explaining that having “raving fans” are key to his/her success along with the company’s success. I would then touch on how he affects clients causes me worries to how he treats employees. Truthfully, regardless of his/her response I would go into this discussion seriously and harshly. Family things going on at home; fighting, its life, we all have it, deal with it lock it up and leave it at the door, would be my mindset. Kids keeping them up at night, deal with it, most of us have kids and loose sleep because of them as well. If they valued their job they would have to show me they valued. I would give an assignment to him/her as the ultimatum. Read the book “Raving Fan” by Kenneth Blanchard and within one week have 5 positive customer reviews each day. The book would be to understand the importance of how you treat your clients, and its an easy read. And the 25 total positive reviews is a simple goal/challenge.

Bad news can affect us in different ways. Finding out my driver was fired, didn’t package my shipment correctly, and didn’t gather all the permits in time all was bad news for me. I wanted and could have been like “forget it, I’m done!” and walked away form the driver and my potential client, but because I took on the challenge, was honest, and was going to do whatever it took to make sure that load got delivered I won. Delivery bad news to a fellow employee or a customer shouldn’t be sugar coated.



Assignment Week Three

Joe Valentin

Instructor Sexton

February 1, 2016



Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s