Don’t Know? No problem.

I saw this post on QAQNA, and I thought it was great. What should you do when you don’t know an answer to a question? Lots of customer service representatives ask, and it’s not that hard.


  • Say “Ummmmmmm” or stall unnecessarily.
  • Be embarrassed or upset that you don’t know the answer. Keep it cool.
  • Brush off the situation. You can use humor, but don’t make it so the customer thinks you don’t care or think his/her problem is funny.
  • Say the word “Honestly.” You may think it’s good to say “Honestly, I don’t know the answer.” but that could imply you weren’t telling the truth before. If you want to do something like that, at least say “To be frank with you.” or something along those lines.


  • Admit you don’t know the answer off the top of your head. You can:
    • Say something like “That’s a great question.” or “Hmm, that’s an interesting question.”
    • Then, ask the customer if he or she would mind holding while you research the answer (you could find it in a database, ask someone, Google it, etc.)
    • If it’d be easier just to transfer the customer to someone else, do a proper transfer (tomorrow’s post) so the appropriate representative can handle the issue.

It’s important keep the customer in the loop throughout the whole searching for the answer process. If possible, let the customer know every 2 minutes or so that he or she is on hold that you’re still working on it, and it should only be X more minutes. Be sure to thank customers for their time and their patience.

This is a short post today, inspired by Tom’s post at QAQNA. Tomorrow’s post will be about how to properly transfer a customer.

One Response to “Don’t Know? No problem.”

  1. Teri said:

    May 18, 11 at 1:51 pm

    I love the title of this article and it gets better after reading it! Dont know, no problem 🙂