Dealing with demanding 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

    - Three tactics for dealing with demanding customers. We're going to get right into it in this video. First, keep your responses brief. After a few seconds of venting, say something concise to your customer, Mm-hum, I see or I can see your point on that. Venting stops a lot faster when customer feel acknowledged. At one point, when I was in labor with my daughter, I screamed out to the doctor I can't do this. I'm known to be melodramatic. The doctor stopped and said, "Okay" and then she communicated a silent messages to the nurses and they all walked out. I was stunned, I'm delivering a baby and you just leave? They returned later, but I realized the tactic immediately. Rather than deal with my drama, they gave me their absence. You can use this tactic with dramatic customers. That is the second technique, silence. When customers get enraged, don't interrupt, don't say a word. This works over the phone and in person. After a few seconds of ranting without your input most customers will pause to see why you're not talking. This pause is where you jump in and take control of the conversation. My last tactic, sometimes the best thing for you to do is draw the line with customers just as I hope you do in your personal relationships when people disrespect you. Drawing the line on unacceptable behavior sets you up as confident and in control. Here are two comebacks for the customer who disrespects you with their language, volume, or by cutting you off. I'm sorry, it's not possible for me to help while listening to that language. If it stops, I can help. Then you pause and let that sink in. I'm trying to help you, but if you continue to yell or swear I'm going to ask that you call back another time. These statements also work in face-to-face interactions. If the customer continues their pattern of behavior after you draw the line you might need to call for a manager. There's nothing wrong with calling for help when you're disrespected. You have the right to avoid verbal abuse. My favorite tactic that I shared here is silence and once you use it, I think you'll love it too. It shocks people into pausing, which gives you control. A word of caution though, with silence, your body language can't come across as dismissive. Just stand and listen. Over the phone, remember to stay engaged while you listen. After you try it, please let me know how this and the other tactics worked for you.

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