Sometimes, good people can get upset and become abusive in customer service interactions—even when you do everything right. Why? Look at the different circumstances that may contribute to the behavior of an abusive customer.
- Our goal in any customer interaction is to make sure the customer leaves happy. We accomplish that goal by delivering a world class experience with every customer, every time. But sometimes good people can get upset and become abusive in customer service interactions, even when you do everything right. Why? Well, there are as many reasons as there are people. It's important to explore and understand these reasons because it will give you insight to the possible state of mind of your customers, and you may be able to relate to them on some level.
The more relatable you are to your customers, the better chance you have to solve their customer service issues and diffuse heated interactions. I've grouped these reasons in five categories that I commonly see. First, career. Your customer may have recently lost their job or may feel stuck in a job they hate. That can easily put them in a negative state of mind by the time they meet you. Second, relationships. Your customer may be having relationship challenges.
They may have recently gotten dumped by their significant other or gone through a tough divorce. They may even be having issues with their relatives, their children, or their friends. Third, finances. Your customer may be experiencing extreme financial difficulties, lack of money. They may have just lost their home to the bank or may be involved in a costly lawsuit. Any of these situations could cause a negative state of mind in your customers. Fourth, health.
Health complications can have a drastic effect on someone's emotional state of being. Your customer may have just been diagnosed with cancer. They may have a sick child or recently lost someone close to them. Last, overall well-being. Some people are simply in the bad habit of being abusive to customer service representatives. These people are the toughest to deal with because their reaction to issues does not match the situation. There's no rhyme or reason to their outbursts.
They have run this pattern in their interactions for so long it's become normal for them. We've all met people that find a way to be unhappy and negative regardless of what's going on in their lives. Can you relate to any of these challenges? Imagine the impact that any one of these situations would have on you. Now, imagine a friendly, understanding, and empathetic customer service representative providing you with a positive experience among all this negativity.
How would that make you feel? All of these situations are unfortunate and can have an effect on how your customer interacts with you or your company. These reasons do not excuse abusive behavior but they do provide you an opportunity to be more understanding when customer interactions get heated.