General Question

Lunar_Landscape's avatar

Have you ever had a customer you wanted to verbally abuse of commit acts of violence against?

Asked by Lunar_Landscape (301points) November 10th, 2014

Have you ever had a customer who really pushed you, that you wanted to retaliate against, but didn’t?

Disclaimer: I don’t think it’s right or productive to feel that way about customers (or anyone), and I don’t blame customers (or anyone) for the way they act/hold it against them, because I know they’re just doing the best they can with what they’ve got to work with (and what they’ve (or I’ve) got to work with is of course going to be less than is necessary to act perfect in all ways at all times, no matter what).
It also seems wrong to talk about customers behind their backs, because even though you could make the argument “well, they’re choosing to come into the store, they signed up for this”, they only expose themselves to us and to the chance that we’ll be jerks about them behind their backs because they have to, not because they want to. I also feel like we’re duty bound to be impassive and non-judgemental with them, because if we acted like real people with them they’d never feel comfortable asking us questions or anything.
For some reason, though, I’m still allowing myself to act in a way contrary to everything I just said I believed in by asking this question. I know, I suck.

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12 Answers

marinelife's avatar

What people who deal with customers need to understand is the cost of re-acquiring a lost customer is prohibitively expensive while keeping a customer happy costs relatively little.

Businesses sometime shoot themselves in the foot by not communicating that to those who are on the front lines with customers and by not having policies that support that.

Lunar_Landscape's avatar

Yep. Staying courteous with a customer no matter what is a good idea for a number of reasons, including that one.

Dutchess_III's avatar

When I was in the wireless industry, in the late 98–2002, I had one customer who was particularly rude and awful. He was pissed about his bill, and refused to listen to what I was trying to explain. He argued with me for 10 minutes, and every other minute he’d say, “Just cancel the God damn phones! Just cancel ‘em!” He had 5 lines, so he was a pretty valuable customer—but I gave all my customers the best service I could.
Anyway, after 10 minutes of getting yelled and cussed at and hearing “Cancel the God damn phones!” for the 5th time I politely excused myself, said I’d be right back, and without telling him what I was doing, went back to my desk and cancelled all 5 of the God damn phones.
Interestingly enough, when I got back less than 2 minutes later he was all calmed down…but trying to use his phone!! “What’s wrong with my God damn phone??” he said.
“You told me to cancel them, so I did!”
He said, “I didn’t mean right now!!”
So I turned his God damn phones back on, and we were able to have a civilized conversation after that. It was interesting. I guess calling his bluff earned me some respect.

Cancelling those phone was so sweet! (Insert evil grin!)

Dutchess_III's avatar

Direct TV has that problem @marinelife.

elbanditoroso's avatar

No. Abuse and verbal violence means that there has been failure in communications.

josie's avatar

See @marinelife
It is way cheaper to keep a client happy than to get them back after you fuck up the relationship.
Real basic.

Dutchess_III's avatar

And people tell these corporations that all the time. I don’t understand why they don’t seem to get it. They offer specials to new customers, but their bread a butter customers are ignored.

dxs's avatar

Verbally, yes, physically, never. You won’t believe the lunatics that I had to deal with when I worked at a hotel. In most cases, though, my biggest problems were with the management.

iun32s3's avatar

yep, but quick way to deal with it is just take a deep breath

linguaphile's avatar

I was a teacher who taught 45–55 kids each semester for 9 years on IEPs.

IEP = legal document that ensures service for children with diverse educational needs (usually called disabled kids but I don’t consider most of the kids I taught disabled- they were very able, just had different educational needs). IEPs have set goals that must be monitored quarterly. Each kid had at least 2 goals with 3 objectives per goal. Each objective needed to be evaluated then commented on every 9 weeks. Do the math.

Which means my “customers” were administrators, parents, school districts, and state assessors. Retail’s nothing compared to being breathed on every working hour by these 4 entities x 45–55 kids.

Did I fantasize about inflicting harm. Quite a few times, yes. Did I? No… I was given the most difficult parents for my case load because of my diplomacy and ability to defuse situations quickly.

RocketGuy's avatar

The joys of Customer Service, dealing with the public…

That’s another reason I got into Engineering.

talljasperman's avatar

No… I took all the hate and turned in against myself to try harder then I broke down and I got put on long term disability.

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