Is it OK to tell your guest “I don’t know?”

I often ask teams that I train if it’s ok to tell their guest or client “I don’t know.” Typically, I get emphatic “NOs” from my audience, to which I reply, “Well, what if you don’t know?”

I’m a firm believer that it’s almost impossible to know everything and at some point, a team member will get asked a question that they don’t know the answer to.

The way I see it, if a guest asks you a question and you don’t know the answer, you still own the question. You have two choices:

  • Find the answer
  • Bring them to someone that can help them find the answer

It’s ok to say “I don’t know” but it’s not ok NOT to do anything about it or, even worse, try to BS your way through an answer that you’re not sure of.

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