Seven Ways to Handle Abusive Customers (And One Way Not To)

So, what’s the solution? Here are a few ideas:

  1. Have a recording that directs the customers with lost luggage to call the airline they used.
  2. If the customer ignores the recording, have the customer service rep properly trained to empathize and provide the customer with the airline’s phone number.
  3. As part of the customer service rep’s welcome, mention that the call is being recorded for quality assurance. A live agent saying this has more impact than a recording. It also serves as a warning to a potentially abusive customer.
  4. If a customer is abusive, warn them that you may terminate the call.
  5. All customer service reps should assume the call will be friendly until the customer proves them wrong.
  6. All customer service reps must be trained to de-escalate anger whenever possible before it becomes an abusive conversation.
  7. Leadership must show employees they have their backs regarding abusive customers. If employees are properly trained, leadership should respect an employee’s decision to end the call.



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Shep Hyken

Shep Hyken

Shep Hyken, customer service expert, business speaker and New York Times bestselling author, helps companies deliver AMAZING customer service and experiences!