For as much as I’ve always hated the interview question about my weaknesses, I tend to be open and transparent in my work. Even if I had to give some sort of bad news, I’ve always gone for empathy and honesty in my interactions with people.
When I was in college and working in retail, this actually led to customers returning and asking specifically for my assistance. In my current job, this has led more than once to parents who were disgruntled when I had to talk to them being bright friendly and chatty with me, even while they’re driving my directors mad.
When you aren’t afraid to say, “Hey, look, I’m sorry. this won’t be handled the way we initially expected because of (insert a brief explanation here),” people respect that. They appreciate the heads-up, especially if you give it to them as soon as you know.
A little honesty can go a long way as customer service.