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Sample Exercises From Defusing Hostile Customers Workbook For The Public Sector

Sample Exercises From Defusing Hostile Customers Workbook For The Public Sector

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Published by Robert Bacal
The learning exercises included in this workbook are one of things (and only one of many) that makes the book so unique. It's not just something one reads, but something one can "interact" with and engage with to improve learning. Each chapter contains homework and learning exercises. This excerpt provides just one example of how we do it. Note that there is an answers and interpretation section at the back to which learners can use to self-evaluate their responses. For more information about this book, http://customerservicegov.com
The learning exercises included in this workbook are one of things (and only one of many) that makes the book so unique. It's not just something one reads, but something one can "interact" with and engage with to improve learning. Each chapter contains homework and learning exercises. This excerpt provides just one example of how we do it. Note that there is an answers and interpretation section at the back to which learners can use to self-evaluate their responses. For more information about this book, http://customerservicegov.com

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Published by: Robert Bacal on Jan 11, 2012
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07/10/2013

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Page 17Defusing Hostile Customers Workbook © Robert Bacal, 1995, 1998, 2010
important is that you are able to stop, or prevent escalation right from the beginning. It is a lot easier to preventhostile behavior than to deal with it once it has emerged, full blown.
The escalation/crisis cycle is diagrammed below. Many of the tactics we describe are intended to stop this cycle.
Employee Response / Ac-tion
Bureaucratic response
•
Gets triggered, takes bait 
•
Responds defensively
•
Coldness or terseness
•
Unhelpful or passive
•
Lack of listening and impa-
•
tience
Customer Reactions
Increased frustration
•
Higher sense of helpless-
•
ness and fearIncreases aggression
•
Becomes more abusive
•
Employee Reaction
Defends or counter-attacks
•
more triggered
•
less self-control
•
more aggressive or colder
•
even less helpful sounding
•
The Escalation/Crisis Cycle
 
Escalation toCRISISLoss of ControlViolencePotential
 
Page 18Defusing Hostile Customers Workbook 
Chapter II Exercises & Assignments
Practice Exercises2.1 Bait Identifcation
Below are some common things that hostile customers say to government employees. For each item determinewhether it contains “bait”, and explain what the customer is really saying to the employee. (the implied mes
-sages). Check your answers with the answers at the back of the book (Appendix A). Remember, you DON’Twant to take the bait and get hooked.2.1.1 I want to speak to someone who knows what they are doing. Is there a man I can speak to? _______________________________________________________________________________________  _______________________________________________________________________________________  _______________________________________________________________________________________ 2.1.2 I don’t know what to do next. I have to feed my family, and can’t hardly put food on the table now. _______________________________________________________________________________________  _______________________________________________________________________________________  _______________________________________________________________________________________ 2.1.3 Look, if you reduce my cheque, my kids are going to starve, and it’s going to be your fault. _______________________________________________________________________________________  _______________________________________________________________________________________  _______________________________________________________________________________________ 2.1.4 I want your supervisor’s number, so I can call to clarify to make sure you are correct _______________________________________________________________________________________  _______________________________________________________________________________________  _______________________________________________________________________________________ 
 
Page 19Defusing Hostile Customers Workbook © Robert Bacal, 1995, 1998, 2010
2.1.5 How can you say that, don’t you know your own laws? We’ll see who is right. Give me your supervi
-sor’s number. _______________________________________________________________________________________  _______________________________________________________________________________________  _______________________________________________________________________________________ 2.2 What’s Wrong With This PictureTake a look at the following dialogues. Indicate whether you feel the employee’s response is effective or not(i.e.. would it defuse the situation). Explain why and compare your answers with the ones in Appendix A.
2.2.1
Customer:
 
 Look, if you reduce my cheque, my kids are going to starve, and it’s going to be your fault.
Employee:
 
“There’s nothing I can do about that, so you will have to fgure out what to do, I guess.
 _______________________________________________________________________________________  _______________________________________________________________________________________  _______________________________________________________________________________________ 2.2.2
Customer:
 Look, if you reduce my cheque, my kids are going to starve, and it’s going to
 
be your fault 
.
Employee:
 
can tell you’re upset about this situation, and I will do my best to help you
 
out. Would youlike me to suggest some alternatives for you?”
 _______________________________________________________________________________________  _______________________________________________________________________________________  _______________________________________________________________________________________  _______________________________________________________________________________________  _______________________________________________________________________________________ 

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