5 Ways To Stay Safe At Work When Dealing With A Crazy Customer

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This article is contributed by Mikhail Donovan

When was the last time you went shopping and started going crazy at the person behind the counter? For most people that would be never, but sometimes it does happen. If something caused you to get annoyed you would no doubt try and bite your tongue, or if you suddenly lost control you might say something by accident because it slipped out. When you got home and calmed down you would probably realize you were out of order because nobody deserves to have their safety compromised at work.

There are a few individuals who aren’t like you because they are a little bit crazy. When they get very upset they might decide to try and physically attack you. It doesn’t happen too often, but do you really want to take the chance when you could get seriously hurt? Health and safety gets thrown out the window when somebody decides to break the law. I don’t want you to ever get hurt by a crazy customer, so we’re going to look at some of the ways you can deal with them that will keep you safe.

Don’t explain yourself

Nobody is ever wrong and there is no way in the world you will ever convince an angry customer that it’s their fault, even if it is. When someone thinks you’re trying to dismiss what they’re saying they will get even angrier. You should just listen to exactly what they have to say and when they’ve finished talking you might get a few words in. When your safety is at risk you don’t want people reaching a breaking point because they will snap.

Accept the blame

Even if the customer has it wrong it’s still your fault. You really need to understand what this means because it might never have occurred to you. Imagine someone has read your sign and they think they’re getting a special deal, but they are not. They might be very angry and you could turn around and tell them they read the sign wrong, but if you accept the blame you’re saying you never took enough care when making the sign so that everyone could understand it.

Keep your hands down

When someone is running on adrenaline they will be liable to snap if you make any sudden movements. The worst thing you can do is raise your hands and this means you can’t point in someone’s face. Not only will steam start coming out of their ears, but they will also feel threatened. Keep your hands down at your side and you won’t be giving them any reason to lash out. If you work in an establishment where people get drunk it’s even more important.

Speak to someone

As soon as you think someone is a little cuckoo you should tell them you need to speak to a colleague for a second. Tell your colleague you would like some assistance and they can go and get the supervisor for you. If you feel threatened in any way you should call security immediately. If security is the only solution you shouldn’t go back out there, so stay through the back and let them deal with it. If you think you can handle it you can go back out with a supervisor because there is safety in numbers.

Empathize with them

Sometimes a customer just wants someone to listen to them. The things they come out with might seem crazy, but if you can find a way to empathize with them they will warm to you. If they start to think of you as a good person who understands them it will never get to the stage where they start throwing their fists about. You just need to try and get inside their head in order to get them on your side.

Author Bio: Mikhail Donovan holds a Diploma in Project Management. He interacts with many clients while working and feels that handling people is all about understanding the root cause of their problem. He also pens down many of his experiences, which prove to be a good study while handling other clients.

Image Credit: angry man image courtesy of MorgueFile

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