39. When the Customer Swears or Yells at you I

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Customer Service - Full course


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When the Customer Swears or Yells:

When the Customer Swears or Yells By VanSight

COPYRIGHT 2009 VANSIGHT division of Synbiz Solutions Pvt Ltd:

COPYRIGHT 2009 VANSIGHT division of Synbiz Solutions Pvt Ltd 2 No part of this publication may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or for any purpose without the express permission of VanSight Division of Synbiz Solutions Pvt Ltd. The information contained herein may be changed without prior notice. VanSight is trademark of Synbiz Solutions Pvt Ltd. All other product and service names mentioned and associated logos displayed are the trademarks of their respective companies. Data contained in this document serves informational and educational purposes only. The information in this document is proprietary to Synbiz Solutions Pvt Ltd. This product contains training material for English or Soft Skills or Personality Development. Synbiz assumes no responsibility for errors or omissions in this document. Synbiz does not warrant the accuracy or completeness of the information, text, graphics, links, or other items contained within this material. This document is provided without a warranty of any kind, either express or implied, including but not limited to the implied warranties of merchantability, fitness for a particular purpose, or non-infringement.

The Situation:

The Situation While most customers are able to control their behavior to keep it within acceptable bounds, some customers, when they are angry, may swear and yell, or otherwise “act out”. Obviously this is an extremely upsetting situation for most employees, and it also interferes with the employee’s ability to do his or her job. It’s hard to help someone who is yelling at you, and not paying any attention to what you are saying. In situations like this, your first goal is NOT to try to address the specifics of the customer’s problem, but to use techniques to halt the inappropriate behavior. We are going to be using some advanced techniques to stop the customer’s ranting, and get the customer to listen to, and respond to our efforts to help. 3

Techniques Used:

Techniques Used 4 Some People Think That (Neutral Mode) Finding Agreement Points Empathy Statements Assurances of Effort


Dialogue 5 In this situation the customer is upset because he received a Parking ticket that he feels is un-warranted. He visits the Town clerk (which is where tickets are paid), and starts to yell and swear at the clerk at the counter.


Dialogue 6 Customer: What the [bleep] is going on here. One of your Stupid meter maids gave me a ticket for parking near a Hydrant and I wasn’t within ten feet of the goddamn Thing. I’m not paying this thing, and I want you to cancel The [bleep] thing now . [customer appears to be Starting a long rant without stopping] Employee: Some people feel that their tickets aren’t Deserved. Customer: Darn right. I’m one of them. I’m fed up. Employee: I agree. You don’t feel your ticket is deserved.


Dialogue 7 Customer: So, what are you going to do about it? Employee: Obviously you are upset about this. You may not be aware that we have a way for you to appeal the ticket if you like. Customer: Yeah? How? Employee: I'll do my best to explain your options, so you won’t be liable for an infraction you didn’t commit. Customer: OK.

Explanations :

Explanations 8 When the customer starts raising his voice, and using swear words the employee realizes that until the customer Calms down and begins to listen to the employee, nothing at all can be accomplished. So, he uses “some People think… or neutral mode” to try to break into the Conversation. The reason this technique works (when it Does), is that it’s an unexpected response that the customer Doesn’t have a ready made answer for. Unexpected responses tend to derail rants. Notice also that the neutral mode response is short. That’s because an angry customer isn’t going to “hear” a long response. The customer responds by indicating he is “one of them”. But what’s important is the customer has become more attentive and is in the process of stopping the rant.

Explanations :

Explanations The employee responds with an agreement point in . Notice that the employee isn’t agreeing or disagreeing with whether the ticket is warranted or not, but is simply agreeing to the fact that the customer feels unfairly treated. Again, it’s a short response. The customer, while not happy, now behaves in a more constructive and acceptable way, which signals the employee that he can move the conversation to what the customer can do to dispute the ticket. First, the employee uses an empathy statement , and follows up with assuring the customer that he will make an effort to help. 9

How to Diffuse the Situation:

How to Diffuse the Situation 10 When you act and speak as if you and the angry customer are on the same side, there’s a tendency for angry customers to calm down, and stop yelling at you, since they don’t see you as much as an “enemy”. Remember, with angry customers, you can’t address their specific concern (in this case the ticket) until such time as the customer is calm enough to listen, and behave constructively to help solve his own problem.

How to Diffuse the Situation:

How to Diffuse the Situation 11 With angry customers, look to engineer agreement. Look for things the customer says that you can agree with that will not put you in an awkward situation. Finding agreement points is such a powerful technique that it is often used by hostage negotiators.

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