The Customer is Always Right? What to do When a Customer Abuses Your Employee

At Shoppers, Inc. we are very passionate about great customer service, measurement and teamwork.  The article below from Susan Solovic  about The Customer is Always Right? What to do When a Customer Abuses Your Employee and customer service relates to our goals and passions.  Hope you enjoy it!

the-customer-is-always-right

Business is more customer-centric than ever before and that’s a good thing. However, there are times when customers can become abusive.

First we need to understand that there’s a difference between being irate and being abusive. We need to expect irate customers, but how do you judge when an irate customer crosses over into being abusive?

When upset customers personally insult your employee, use foul language or make threats, they have crossed the line. Let’s get a little ahead of ourselves for a moment and say that when this threshold is crossed, you or a higher level manager needs to step in and bail your employee out of the situation.  But before it gets to that point, it’s important to train your employees to handle irate and difficult customers so very few encounters every escalate to that level. Here are some guidelines that cover situations over the phone and in person.

Be quick to listen

The thing that can really “set off” customers is if they don’t think your employee is “hearing what they’re saying.” Train your employees to stop talking and listen to the customer. This is different than just giving the irate customer time to vent.

After listening to the customer, have your employees repeat or summarize what they heard. This gives the customer a chance to clarify any misunderstanding and also reassures the customer that your employee has, in fact, been listening.  Don’t rush this step. If this is a phone conversation, don’t allow your employee to go down a script like a robot. That’s throwing gasoline on the fire.

Be slow to speak and speak slowly

Your employee needs to stay calm. If the customer begins to feel “rushed” or “pushed” into some predetermined outcome, it’s bad for everyone. If the customer needs time to go through the problem again, that’s fine.

The more time and space your employee creates from the initial burst of anger, the better it is for your employee. Bright flames burn out quickly. If the heat of the moment turns into verbal abuse, have your employee tell the customer that he or she needs to refer the situation to the owner, manager or supervisor.

If someone in authority is not available, the employee should calmly and politely tell the customer that the abuse is inappropriate and to call back when calm. If the situation is in person, the employee should politely tell the customer to come back later when settled down. If the customer does not leave, call security or the police.

Sympathize and apologize

Your employee should express sympathy and understanding, and apologize in a way that’s appropriate for the situation. For example, your company may need to apologize for an error, or it might just need to “apologize” for the customer’s frustration: “I’m sorry you’ve had such a difficult time. I understand how you feel about this. Let me see what I can do.”

Explain what’s possible

Your employee should clearly lay out the relief that can be applied to the situation and ask which solution would the customer prefer. If none of the options available to your employee satisfy the customer, it’s time to bring in a supervisor. The customer will probably request it.

When management steps in

When the abusive or unsatisfied customer gets pushed up to the management level, often there is an immediate easing of tensions. The same guidelines for listening, speaking and apologizing apply.

Patience and calmness rule all of these encounters and time is on your side. An irate customer who can be turned into a satisfied customer is one of the biggest assets a small business can have. Always give it your best effort to diffuse any volatile situation.

This article was originally published by Susan Solovic

 

Share your thoughts on our blog here or Facebook page.

Learn how to make your company a leader in customer service – contact Shoppers, Inc. at 800-259-8551 for more information on Service Quality Institute programs.

Shoppers, Inc. – A better customer experience. We provide Measurement, Employee Development and Public Speaking Engagements.

For more information contact Kathy at Kathy@insightyoucanuse.com or 800-259-8551 x202

Don’t forget to follow us on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Linked In, Google Plus, and Pinterst

There are numerous of repute online pharmacies. But few aren’t licensed in the United States. It is easy for people to buy medicaments online. How can you do this? Albeit erectile dysfunction is more common among older men, that doesn’t make it ‘normal’. In our generation variant articles were published about levitra 20 mg. What is the most great information you have to study about “levitra 10 mg“? Varied pharmacies describe it as “levitra 10mg“. Mostly when something goes wrong with your sexual health, it can influence your sex life as well as your overall well-being. If you choose to purchase remedies like Viagra online, always get a written prescription before do it. Do not use any cure without telling your physician if you going to become pregnant during treatment.

Fill out the form below to receive our free quiz.
×
Help improve our customer service seminars.

 

×
Fill out the form below to receive our apartment pricing.
×
Fill out the form below to receive the Return on Service Calculator.
×
Fill out the form to Inquire about Your Event.
×
Fill out the form below to receive our customer service assessment tool.
×
Fill out the form below to receive the Common Customer Complaints.
×
Fill out the form below to receive a copy of a Completed Net Promoter Score survey.
×
Fill out the form below to receive our Newsletter.

Oops! We could not locate your form.

×
Fill out the form below to subscribe to our blog.
×
Fill out the form below to receive our free quiz.
×
Fill out the form below to receive our free shopper report.
×

Cart