Don't Be Afraid to Say No to a Customer

Ian Siegel, Founder & CEO of ZipRecruiter ( tells you when to say no. In this video, he breaks down the best reasons and tactics for turning down a customer who asks for more than promised.

  1. Your customers will always ask for more
  2. Avoid making changes without a strategy in place
  3. Share your plans & goals to help communicate with customers
  4. Be open to find alternative solutions

What every business finds out as soon as they launch a product and they start getting customers is that a lot of customers are going to ask for customizations and they’re not asking these questions because they don’t think your product is good enough. They’re asking these questions because everyone can come up with a way that your product could work better for their specifics and circumstances.

The truth is only you know the full list of features that have been requested from all your different customers and it’s your responsibility to make sure that you keep the interface simple because what you had was good enough to bring all of those customers to your website in the first place.

Clearly, they are already getting value out of it so you want to make sure that you don’t make things too complex to satisfy a small minority of your customers at the cost of upsetting the majority of your customers.

One thing that we like to do when somebody asks us for customization of the website is not be afraid to share our roadmap. We’ll let them know exactly what it is that we are working on to give them a sense of what new things are coming as well as to give them a sense of how long it might be before they see that feature they’ve requested.

And if it’s definitely a feature we’re not going to do, we're forthright about why we won’t do it and we try to be inclusive and have a discussion with them about other ways we might be able to solve that problem that they’re having.

If you follow these practices of effectively keeping it human and talking to your customers the way you would talk to somebody who is sitting across the table from you in the room, you’ll find that it’s okay to say no to them. They will appreciate just having had the opportunity to have the conversation, and those customers are very likely to become evangelists for you.