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Screaming & yelling customers!


What are the ranges of emotions you feel when you have a client or a customer screaming in the phone at you, especially when you know that his/her anger is being misdirected at you unnecessarily? It has happened to me a few times throughout my career with high-ranking officials of the government and it may also happen to you. So, what do you do when it happens? Should you scream back and turn it into a screaming match? I would not recommend that approach at all. What’s the point, if each of you is screaming at each other and one doesn’t hear the other person. That is totally illogical. I use these unsolicited incidents as my opportunity to take control of the situation. When this type of incident happens, you have to understand that the other person is out of control and the cause can be related to a variety of things. Maybe the person has had a bad day; personal issues at home, needs medication or took too many meds. Whatever it is, it doesn’t totally excuse the behavior, because adult professionals should quickly realize when they are out of control and remove themselves from the conversation. I always make an attempt to gain the attention of the caller and let them know that they are portraying unprofessional behavior just in case he/she is in a zone and doesn’t realize how poorly they are representing themselves and their organization. If that doesn’t modify the caller’s behavior and the screaming and yelling continues, I gain the attention of the caller once again to alert them that if he/she doesn’t recompose themselves, I must respectfully terminate this call and continue this conversation at another time when he/she can behave in a professional manner. If the unruly behavior doesn’t change, I immediately terminate the call and inform my manager of my actions and why I felt it was necessary to handle it in that manner. I have always taught my interns and employees to never tolerate unprofessional and disrespectful behavior from anyone. As their manager, I would always follow up with the unruly caller at a later time and notify their manager of the incident. Bottom line is that no one should be subjected to such behavior no matter what position you hold in the company. But once those types of callers realize that unprofessional behavior will not be tolerated, they will not continue to contact you when their behavior is uncontrollable. Just always remember to exhibit professional behavior and demand the same from others. If you don’t make them respect you…then they won’t respect you. PM


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Paula Maddox

Coach | Author | Speaker | Minister | Doctoral Student

Tel: 404.939.7432   

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