Yelling or cursing customer

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

    - Some people use bait tactics to try to get what they want. They'll say something just to get you to react. They're trying to take your power so that they're in control. A lot of the time, when a customer uses profanity or yells they're baiting you. If they can throw you off, get you emotional or frustrate you then they have the upper hand. They want you upset, they want you to give in because then they think they'll have a better chance of getting what they want. Even if they don't get what they want, they felt a sense of power from their rant. When a situation escalates to the point of the customer yelling or cursing you have two objectives. You must assertively set boundaries for what you won't tolerate, and you must immediately regain control. I sat down with a team of skillful escalation agents and one of the questions I asked them was what's your best response to the customer who uses profanity, yells at you or cuts you off. As they talked, I took notes. I walked away with five comebacks for the customer who tries to intimidate and bait using words or volume. The group gave me these specific phrases. I'm trying to help you, but if you continue to yell and swear, I'm going to ask that you call back another time, it's up to you. I'm sorry, it isn't possible to help while listening to that language, if it stops, I can help. If a few minutes helps you calm down before we continue that would be okay. You can certainly call us back. One person shared you have to sound confident and solid. If you don't, they smell weakness and will run right over you. At one point in the conversation, someone said and every single person agreed with this. Don't be a doormat, don't let customers disrespect you. Address unacceptable attitudes head on otherwise you've lost control and the interaction will only go downhill. That's perfect advice. You get the behavior you tolerate. So don't let customers walk all over you. Assert yourself respectfully and work to regain control.

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