23. When A Customer Threatens Bodily Harm Or Property Damage

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Customer Service: When A Customer Threatens Bodily Harm Or Property Damage

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23. When A Customer Threatens Bodily Harm Or Property Damage

  1. 1. When a Customer Threatens Bodily Harm or Property Damage<br />By VanSight<br />
  2. 2. COPYRIGHT 2009 VANSIGHT division of Synbiz Solutions Pvt Ltd<br />2<br />No part of this publication may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or for any purpose without the express permission of VanSight Division of Synbiz Solutions Pvt Ltd. The information contained herein may be changed without prior notice.<br />VanSight is trademark of Synbiz Solutions Pvt Ltd. All other product and service names mentioned and associated logos displayed are the trademarks of their respective companies. <br />Data contained in this document serves informational and educational purposes only. The information in this document is proprietary to Synbiz Solutions Pvt Ltd. <br />This product contains training material for English or Soft Skills or Personality Development. Synbiz assumes no responsibility for errors or omissions in this document. Synbiz does not warrant the accuracy or completeness of the information, text, graphics, links, or other items contained within this material. This document is provided without a warranty of any kind, either express or implied, including but not limited to the implied warranties of merchantability, fitness for a particular purpose, or non-infringement.<br />
  3. 3. The Situation<br />One of the most stressful situations in customer service occurs when a customer threatens bodily harm or property Damage. <br />Apart from the obvious sense of concern that an employee feels about his or her welfare, stress is magnified because of the uncertainty of the situation. When threats occur, questions flood in. Will the person actually carry through on the threat? What should you do? How can you stay safe? <br />There are many kinds and degrees of threat, which compounds the difficulty. Some threats are made from a distance, where the employee isn’t in immediate danger. Some are general, some specific. Some are direct, some Indirect. <br />Since dealing with threats is complex and the Consequences of making a wrong decision can be severe, In most situations, an employee should rely on the organization’s Policies and procedures for dealing with emergencies or threats and let law enforcement or security professionals make the tough decisions. <br />3<br />
  4. 4. The Situation<br />They are trained For it. You are not. when a customer utters a threat of any kind, the issue Is no longer customer service, but safety, protection, security, and law enforcement. <br />For this reason, detailed discussion and advice on dealing with most threats are beyond the scope of discussion.<br />However, we will look at a situation where the employee is not in immediate danger and a general threat has been made over the phone. <br />We’ll add some extra explanation and hints to this particular example that apply to other kinds of threat situations.<br />4<br />
  5. 5. Techniques Used<br />5<br />Use Customer’s Name <br /> Empathy Statements <br /> Setting Limits <br />Contact security<br />
  6. 6. Dialogue<br />6<br />A clearly upset customer calls and, during the phone call, makes a generalized threat.<br />Customer: I’m absolutely fed up with you people. I have a mind to come down there and show you can’t mess with me. You know I can get you if I want.<br />Employee: Mr. Patel, I understand that you’re concerned and worried about [summarize issue]. I will do the best I can to help you with this, but I can’t do so if you talk in an aggressive way.<br />
  7. 7. Dialogue<br />7<br />Customer: Maybe you’ll be more helpful if I come down there with a crowbar.<br />Employee: Mr. Jones , if you continue to talk in a threatening way, I’ll have to end this conversation. It’s up to you whether you want to continue to talk right now. <br />After the conversation ends, the employee then informs Security, the authorities, and / or management, according to the organization’s policies and procedures, in order to maximize Safety and security. <br />
  8. 8. Explanations <br />8<br />This situation involves an indirect threat, but in any threat situation it’s important to remain calm, sound calm, and not overreact. That’s why the employee’s initial response involves using the customer’s name and an empathy statement. The interaction may not be doomed: the employee is still trying to work to resolve the problem or at least to get the customer to tone down the discussion. <br />This is more appropriate when the threat is indirect and there is no obvious immediate danger. The customer steps up the threat, making it more specific by mentioning the crowbar; at which point the employee decides that if the threats continues in any shape or form, the conversation must end. He sets a limit, which he will enforce if necessary. If the customer does not calm down or rescind the threat, it’s absolutely essential that the employee report the threat to his manager, the authorities, and / or security.<br />The most compelling reason to do so is to alert them to a possible problem so they can prepare to deal with it if it occurs. If the employee succeeds in calming down the customer and the phone call or interaction is resolved calmly and constructively, whether the employee reports the incident or not is a judgment call. However, since uttering threats is illegal in most places and since a customer may make a habit of threatening employees, it’s probably best to report threats even if The situation seems to have been resolved.<br />
  9. 9. How to Diffuse the Situation<br />9<br />Err on the side of safety and security. While many verbal Threats are just words born of anger and frustration, you won’t know which of the threats is serious and sincere.<br />Let the professionals decide. The police and security should have more experience in these situations and better training.<br />That’s why it’s best that all threats be reported, at minimum to management.<br />
  10. 10. How to Diffuse the Situation<br />10<br />If you feel you are in serious danger, contact the police, even if your company prefers you don’t. <br />Better to deal with an angry boss than become a violence statistic. It is important that you remain calm in threat situations. When you react emotionally, you may be providing the threatening person with reinforcement (or reward) for making the threat. <br />
  11. 11. How to Diffuse the Situation<br />11<br />In a situation where you may feel endangered, the more emotional you get, the more unpredictable your behavior may be, and that behavior may startle or upset the person threatening you.<br />After any threat incident, you will want to make some notes about the situation, the context, the person making the threat, and so on to provide to management, security, or the police. For example, if the threat is made in person, you might want to note any information you might have about the person — physical description, characteristics, Voice, etc. If on the phone, you might want to note the caller’s number, the tone and kind of voice, and any background noises.<br />
  12. 12. How to Diffuse the Situation<br />12<br />Your company or organization should have guidelines and procedures for these kinds of situations. Follow them unless you feel that doing so will result in immediate harm to you, your colleagues, or other bystanders. If your company does not have such guidelines, it should. Suggest that management develop them. In the absence of guidelines, talk to your manager so he or she and you are on the same wavelength about how these situations should be handled.<br />
  13. 13. How to Purchase & Download full Course from VanSight.<br />13<br />Download Presentation from <br />www.vansight.net<br />

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