Customer's request is not possible

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

    - Your customer demands to talk to a manager, but right now, there's no manager available. Or this complex situation. The customer insists on knowing the precise location of their package, but your system is telling you nothing. Sometimes, what the customer is asking is impossible for you to do. In those case, your best response is to use what my colleague Rich Franco, a customer service manager, calls ACT statements. Here's how it works. Rich has his employees always make ACT statements, part of the call, email, or chat flow. The A is for Acknowledge the issue. Before giving the customer your explanation or telling them what they can't do, you need to recognize the impact the issue has on them. Here are some ways to acknowledge. I know you're anxious to receive your package. Or, I'm sorry that there's been no follow-up with you as promised. Next, you need to express care or concern. When you combine your acknowledgement with care and concern, you come across as genuine, and this helps you to build trust. It also helps you to remain in control of the interaction. Here's an example of how to show care and concern. I don't want you to worry at all. Your credit has been issued, and you'll see the adjustment within four to seven days. Here, the concern is the customer's worry, and this statement speaks to that head on. Speak to a customer's emotion about a delay, like this. I know it's frustrating to have your package show Delivered when it's not there. The idea here is to try to identify what your customer is feeling, and speak to that. The last speak is Transition to next steps. Because we're dealing with situations where we don't have answers right now, or we can't deliver exactly what the customer wants, we can't solve the problem. But we can give next steps. This might be follow-up on your end, a time target, or you telling the customer what they need to do next. Because you're not giving the customer exactly what they want, this is the point where the interaction could escalate. So you need to sound confident and assertive when transitioning to the next steps so that you persuade the customer to accept the situation as it is. The ACT approach helps you keep the conversation moving forward. It ensures that you remain in control. And the progression flow of acknowledgement and empathy in the steps makes it easier for the customer to accept the situation and move forward.

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