Be regretful but direct with customers

From the course: De-Escalating Intense Situations

  • Course details

    Nearly every customer service professional has encountered a livid customer. These individuals may yell, curse, or forcefully disagree with a policy that you must enforce, but can't control. Such situations are unquestionably tough, but—with the right approach—you can consistently de-escalate the tension. In this course, instructor Myra Golden shares strategies for defusing intense situations, providing practical approaches that can help you calm angry customers. Myra goes over what often causes situations to escalate, and shares practical steps you can take to prevent an escalation. She also provides tips that can help you reframe conversations, manage expectations, handle customers who ask for your supervisor, and more.


    • Click here to view Myra Golden’s instructor page

      Myra Golden

      Customized Engaging Digital Customer Service Training and Instructor at LinkedIn Learning

      Myra Golden is an author, trainer, and keynote speaker.

      For over 20 years, Myra has been helping companies improve the customer experience through her customer service training workshops. She has a master's degree in human relations and a bachelor's degree in psychology, helping her to understand the challenges of developing the best customer experience as it relates to the psychology of the employees.

      Myra has helped McDonald's, Coca-Cola, Michelin, Frito-Lay, Vera Bradley and many others improve the customer experience through her training. She was named one of the top 10 customer service bloggers by Huffington Post, and she is the co-author of Beyond WOW: Defining A New Level of Customer Service.

    Skills covered in this course

  • Why you've been unsuccessful with angry customers

    - A participant in one of my deescalation workshops shared his best advice for getting customers to accept his word as the final answer. He was on the escalation team at his company. And told us, he found that the best approach is to just say what needs to be said, directly, and to show with your words and your tone that you're sorry it has to be this way. In doing this, he cautioned, you have to be firm, confident and final. That participant could have lead the workshop for me because his advice was precisely my method for getting customers to accept your word as final. One of the top reasons customers escalate, is because you're not telling them what they want to hear. So, you have to know how to handle interactions when customers don't hear what they want. Your customers are more likely to accept your word as the final answer, when you say what you have to say in a way that is both regretful and direct. Being regretful and direct is done in three steps. First, make an empathy statement. This is the regret step. Your words of empathy help you come across as genuinely concerned. When customers feel you're concerned, they're more likely to accept your word as final. Saying something like, I can appreciate how frustrating this must be, is perfect. And then assertively make your point. My definition of assertive is, say what you mean, mean what you say, and don't be mean when you say it. Just assertively say what needs to be said. We cannot cover this damage because it is beyond the scope of your warranty is a great example of assertively making your point. The last thing you'll do is wrap up. Wrapping up can be telling the customer what you can do for them when options are possible, or assertively reiterating your final answer. Here's how you might do this. Your warranty covers damage caused by a single incident. It does not cover stains and damage from normal wear. Together it will sound like this, I can appreciate how frustrating this must be for you, we cannot cover this because it's beyond the scope of your warranty. Your warranty covers damage caused by a single incident. It does not cover stains and damage from normal wear. Make a point to sound confident and assertive in each of these steps. Customers pick up on any timidity on your part and they will perceive this as a weakness. Once that happens, they assume they'll have a better chance of getting the answer they want by talking to someone higher up than you.

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