6 Steps to Taming Nasty Customers

6 Steps to Taming Nasty Customers:


You are at work, attempting to deliver the best possible customer service, when one customer comes in and starts shouting about their frustration with your company. You

a) Panic and get a manager.

b) Just Keep Smiling and apologize over and over, even though they have escalated to name calling.

c) Start Yelling back! or

d) Control and Diffuse the situation by following the following steps:

  1. Don’t take it personally. This is not about you, it’s about the customer’s issue.
  2. Model the Behavior you want to see: Breathe. School your body language, tone (voice), and face. Pretend if you must, but exude CALM.
  3. Listen empathetically and paraphrase / recognize the EMOTION: “You seem upset (angry, frustrated, etc)…”
  4. Speak empathetically: not necessarily agreeing, but from their world/viewpoint, “That does seem frustrating.”
  5. Expand Positive Options: “Here’s what you/we CAN do.”
  6. Give Them Power! “Your Choice- What do you want to do?”

People tend to act out when they feel there is no other option. People tend to yell when they feel like they’re not being heard. When we model the behavior we want to see, we utilize the brain’s mirroring neurons and help the other person to stay calm. When we expand options, and talk positively about what the options are, then acting out becomes a choice. This works great with anyone over the age of two!


Be safe. Be Strong. Be EMPOWERED!

Angry Man Workplace Violence