Customers Wake Up on the Wrong Side of the Bed, Too!

wrong_side_of_bedSometimes, we find ourselves in situations with customers where being nice and offering to help just isn’t enough.

You can be the most awesome person in the world and the customer you are trying to assist is still yelling and screaming at you, perhaps calling you a colorful name.

While we may have started our day on the wrong side of the bed, we must remember that our customer may have too. And, while it’s no excuse for harsh treatment, we are ultimately still people helping people.

 

I recently received this feedback from a customer:

I would like to apologize to my representative. I was disproportionately upset with being told to get a new browser. Yes, I should not have to and yes, doing so has caused problems with the computer in the past. Still, he did not deserve my hostility. I am sorry. The customer service reps have been very helpful in resolving problems. They are knowledgeable and very professional at all times.

I shared this feedback with the representative and he mentioned the customer was very hostile to the suggestion of making changes to their account and ended the conversation with “PISS OFF” before disconnecting the call.

It is rare to receive an apology from a customer for a situation like this and I had to break it down to share the anatomy of this feedback gem from a customer who took the time to write to us:

Purpose is clearly exposed:

I would like to apologize to my representative.

Reason for frustration is identified:

I was disproportionately upset with being told to get a new browser. Yes, I should not have to and yes, doing so has caused problems with the computer in the past.

Realization that the representative is a person too:

Still, he did not deserve my hostility. I am sorry.

Positive feedback also included:

The customer service reps have been very helpful in resolving problems. They are knowledgeable and very professional at all times.

Perhaps there was a way to avoid this situation from happening in the first place, who knows? Even if we would have had the golden key solution to help the customer, we know that we all have days where nothing goes the way we want, which makes us very grumpy, despite what happens. We do, however, have the choice about how to act toward others. We may lose it sometimes, but to take a stand and apologize is a strong act.

[custom_author=jenny]

Jenny Dempsey is currently the the Social Media and Customer Experience Manager for NumberBarn.com. She has worked at tech startups since 2005. She's the co-founder and regular contributor over at CustomerServiceLife.com. She's a certified health coach, but not the kind that forces you to only eat cardboard and deprive yourself of ice cream. JennyDempseyWellness.com, the company she started, was designed to bring a new type of wellness into the workplace, one that gives you permission to look deeper into yourself, rather than just on the healthy snacks in the break room. She is the mother to a toothless rescue cat named Chompers. Avocados and veggie tacos are the way to her heart. She's also a Hanson fan for life.

One comment

  • Enjoyed your post Jenny. Bottom line, people are people and filled with emotion. Sounds like your rep did the right thing and not “engage” and fall into the emotional baggage that lady brought to the call. Bravo for your rep. Bravo for the apology note. Although a bad scene, it has a happy ending.

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