Discretion is the Better Part of Valor – Michael Dennis, CBF

Discretion In Action!
Discretion In Action!

From time to time, everyone must deal with an irate customer.  Sometimes, I feel like I am talking to a child throwing a temper tantrum.  Over time, I have learned by trial and error what not to do or say when a customer is having a meltdown on the phone.

I learned to be patient.  Temper tantrums usually blow themselves out.  I learned that people are often upset because they feel their needs are being ignored or no one is listening to them.

One of the biggest challenges is to stay calm.  If the customer shows no sign of slowing down, I think it is time to disengage. Something that works for me is to say this to the customer —and yes I have it written down on a 3×5 card.

“I recognize things are pretty tense right now and I don’t think we are going to make a lot of progress today.  I will give you a call the same time tomorrow.  In the meantime, I will discuss your concerns with senior management and I do appreciate your time.”

Michael Dennis, MBA, CBF, LCM
Michael Dennis, MBA, CBF, LCM

Whenever possible, I ask my manager to join the follow up call.  I am often amazed by the difference in the customer’s demeanor.

How do you deal with temper tantrums?

Michael Dennis’ Covering Credit Commentary. Michael’s website is  www.coveringcredit.com

The opinions presented are those of the author.  The opinions and recommendations do not necessarily reflect the views of CMA, or their Officers and Directors.  Readers are encouraged to evaluate any suggestions or recommendations made, and accept and adopt only those concepts that make sense to them.