Customer Experience News & Trends

How to deal with bully customers

No one should have to put up with a bully customer. Here’s what to do with tormentors.

Agents can neutralize customers who demand too much and try to belittle everyone in their path, according to communication expert Robyn Hatcher.

Fend off bullies by:

  • Setting a confident tone. Sit or stand up straight, leaning slightly forward and head up when you talk with bullies. Even if they can’t see you, this strong posture helps exude confidence.
  • Matching volume and rhythm (but not tone). Bullies usually speak loudly, abruptly and quickly. If agents respond with the same sense of urgency, by using similar volume and fast-paced rhythm, customers will realize they mean business. Short sentences with a peaceful tone work best.
  • Empathizing. It may seem difficult to share any emotions with bullies (after all, they’re mean, agent’s aren’t). But most bullies would rather be right than liked, so disagreements only add fuel to their fire. Instead, acknowledge their emotions. Say, “Wow, you sound really frustrated with me.”

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