Four Simple Point On Which To Base Defusing Angry Customers – Our Premises


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Here are four basic, but key points/principles on which we base our approach to dealing with difficult, angry and abusive customers, and take from The Defusing Hostile Customers Workbook, 3rd Edition.

  1. While we would like people to like us, and not be angry with us, if we choose this as a goal, we are bound to be disappointed. We try to make our customers happy, but the truth is that many government jobs involve giving bad news that is going to make people unhappy.
  2. Anger is a feeling that belongs to the other person. It’s impossible to stop a person from having feelings. Hostile and abusive behavior is another story. We want to focus our defusing efforts on reducing the amount of hostile verbal and nonverbal behavior. That is a realistic goal.
  3. In a later chapter, we will flesh out the notion that abusive behavior is about control. The hostile or abusive person is trying to manipulate and control you and your decision?making. We want to make sure we don’t allow this, and later we will discuss how to “countercontrol”.
  4. We need to provide some leeway for people to express their anger, provided the expressions are not demeaning, insulting or manipulative. If we react to every four letter word, twitch, or raised voice, we will go nuts, and we won’t be very good at defusing the abusive situations.

Republished with author's permission from original post.

Robert Bacal
Robert began his career as an educator and trainer at the age of twenty (which is over 30 years ago!), as a teaching assistant at Concordia University. Since then he as trained teachers for the college and high school level, taught at several universities and trained thousands of employees and managers in customer service, conflict management and performance appraisal and performance management skills.


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