Now and then, you’ll find yourself in the situation where you are asked a question to which you don’t know the answer. You don’t want to appear incompetent or uninformed. So, what do you do?
First, it’s never ok to make assumptions (even if it seems like common sense). If you don’t know, don’t guess or lie. That’s misleading and dishonest.
Second, it’s never ok to brush them off with an “I don’t know” and make the customer keep searching for the answer. That’s your job and you are being rude!
Finally, it’s perfectly ok to not know an answer. People will always appreciate an honest response, even if you have to say:
- I’m not sure, but I will find out!
- That’s a great question. I want to give you the correct answer, and I will check with someone.
- Here’s what I know, here’s what I don’t know, here’s how I’ll find out.
- I'm not sure how to answer that. Hang on and I'll find someone who can help you.
And then you look up the answer or find someone who knows the answer.
You aren't expected to know everything, but you are expected to do what you can to figure out the answer. Just know where to go, or who to go to, to get the correct answer.
It’s not our ability to answer every question that matters as much as our ability to handle every question with proactiveness and professionalism.