How to Respond to Rude Email at Work
You've reread it three times and still it seems like the email message was nothing but rude. But should you call them and clarify if they meant to be rude... or not? Netiquette at work is as important as anywhere else. Allowing the standards of politeness to slip simply because the medium used emboldens people who would usually not be so forthright in a face-to-face context is not acceptable. However, it's also important to be realistic and objective about those emails that you think are rude but might be quite something else. So, the next time your boss, co-worker, or even the head honcho at work sends you what you think is a rude email, here's what you might like to do. Discern what a rude email probably looks like. It's easy to misinterpret the intent, tone, and words of an email. Obviously, an email doesn't come equipped with facial expressions, voice tone, and body language, so if you're feeling swamped with work, sugar-depleted, and feel like you just want to get out of the office, it can be easy to make the mistake of assuming negative intent in an email where there was none intended. Signs that you might have a rude email include: The language used is clearly abusive and/or derogatory. (If you do receive an email filled with foul language, this is likely to be a breach of your workplace policy, and it's highly unprofessional. It can also be cause for legal action depending on what is said, especially if you feel threatened, harassed, or slurred.) The email is written in all capitals (yelling) or particular parts of it that express demands or condescension are written in all capitals. (Be aware that some bosses and coworkers are still grappling with the All Caps key, so they may need to be simply excused out of sheer laziness or lack of "getting with it".) The email is basically a demand with no hello, please, thank you, or closing name. Not using your name and not signing off is fine for an email that is an ongoing interaction but when it's the first email for a fresh topic and it's making a demand or giving instructions, then it's impolite to leave out these small courtesies in a workplace context. The email refers to you unkindly (personal digs) or levels accusations at you and/or suggests that you do X, Y, Z, or else. A rude email may have a lot of exclamation marks or question marks in it. Multiple uses of "!!!!!!" and "??????" is often viewed as being rude or condescending. However, it can also be a sign of emphasis, so don't use this alone as an indicator. The sender is copying in someone else who is in charge of both of you as a means of "coercing" you into doing something
Read the email carefully before making up your mind as to its intent. If you simply scanned it and decided it was rude, it is vital to read it with greater care. Even if you read it carefully the first read, reread it to ensure that you haven't missed anything or you're not reading things into it that are not there. And it's a good idea to ask yourself what it is about the email that has upset you so much. This can be another clue as to what the content intends to convey to you; for example, if you're already having a dispute with a coworker or boss and this email comes at the tail-end of a heated discussion, then it's understandable that you'll view it poorly straight away. On the other hand, if there has been no indication that your coworker or boss is annoyed with you, then perhaps you're misreading it What is the intent behind the words?
simply pop over and talk to the person about what they meant in their email. For example: Dear Kevin.
Is this person known for poor communications or someone who is normally polite? Even with someone who is normally polite. Close the email and take a walk. if this option is open to you. it's not possible for many people who work far apart from one another. Check that you're not making assumptions about the sender's emotional state. then be polite and professional in your response. If you can. Poor communication skills. misguided sarcasm or joking. take a breather. and do something different for a bit to clear your mind. the more important it is to sleep on your reply. not by expectation. Realize that few people are highly skilled writers in a short space of time and most people write quickly with the intent to get the message off their to-do pile so they can get on with the next bit of work. stretch. Thanks for your message. Try telephoning as the next step. trying to appear more forceful by email than they have the courage to be face to face? In such a case. don't react".
Hold off replying. and some people don't think that proper punctuation or spelling is needed in emails. or countries. Are there elements of the email you simply don't understand? In this case.
There are exceptions to this rule. Even worse is to reply rudely when the original intent of the email meant nothing of the sort! So. That way. play it by context. Have a cup of coffee. states. Is this person perhaps just posturing. Resorting to face-to-face communication is more likely to clear things up than any other approach. Until you feel you've both understood the message objectively and calmed down. it's important not to reply. and just plain lazy or sloppy writing can all lead a reader to think that the written piece is rude when it means nothing more than that a person wanted to say something but didn't get it out right. you can reread the email and decide whether or not it's still as upsetting to you as when you first read it. thereby compounding the problem. of course. In replying quickly. I wasn't really sure how to interpret "Do you think you can muster the will to pull yourself away from the water cooler and start working on the Noxos report? I'm wondering if I'll be forced to reconsider your role here." I have to say that I read it as being quite brusque and lacking in recognition of my professionalism. And if you really have no other choice. And then there is a growing tendency to use texting in emails. it may be more a case of bluffing around the edges in the hope you'll do what they're too afraid to ask you to your face. it's quite possible that they're letting their emotional side slip into their email communications.
Avoid assuming that you know the sender's emotional state. Never reply in anger and always sleep on an angry reply. when you come back feeling a little calmer. you may be tempted to be just as rude. or it simply feels more appropriate for you to reply by email. Speaking on the phone will help you to clarify things much faster than having to email back and forth. or even in different locations. People who type fast often drop words. which can be hard to interpret if you don't understand it. you're probably better off assuming nothing until you know more. If you're already having a difficult time with the person in question at a face-to-face level. they may be struggling to put across a message effectively using the email rather than aiming to be rude. I am aware that there
. All the same. Long-term consequences follow from having angry words in a written record form. The more emotionally charged you are and the more emotionally charged the email. However. also known as "review.
. and without any inflammatory statements.
If you want to type your own anger out. That way. I spotted them under the curtain while I was at the water cooler. Thanks for your perceptive email message. remember that and approach the email accordingly.)
Realize that it's fine not to reply sometimes. etc. etc. to the point. cursing. Perhaps the sender didn't know all the facts. I love your new shoes. Keep the emails that concern you as evidence of what you've been subjected to. Be an example of polite and professional email usage at all times. Maintain a professional and polite tone throughout the email and remove anything from it that is unnecessary or contains assumptions about the other person's state of mind. Act like you never received it. and abusing is not okay. Stern professionalism is appropriate but name-calling.
. By the way. Yours. then I am happy to come/phone and explain where I am up to. or was just not thinking straight for various reasons. "type unto others as you would them type unto you. angry. I was able to find out that Jim has already worked on the same figures as those in our report and that means I can have it finished by this evening instead of tomorrow morning. Or perhaps a more humorous approach (you'll need to work in the right kind of place!): Dear Kevin. accusing.is a deadline and am on track to meet it. However. Keep the email simple. Nelly
Reread your reply after you've composed it. I was merely taking a very short break to refresh before I returned to completing the report. then consider just letting this one slip into the ether. If you think that it might be best to just let it go and there is no need for confirmation of what was sent. I realize that hanging around the water cooler could be perceived as time-wasting. nor is using formatting in such a way as to "appear" aggressive (misuse of exclamation marks. or morale is threatened. and you think that your feelings might be too evident in the email. or threats in the workplace. harassment. you'll be pleased to know that as a result of my water cooler mini-break of precisely 2 minutes and 23 seconds. or annoyed. You should not be subjected to rudeness. Harassment and threats are actionable. If in doubt about whether or not to send an email you've written when you're feeling anxious. leaving you open to a charge of being rude. Sometimes it may just be better the let the rude email go. Reread it at least three times to ensure that you haven't responded with rudeness or sound overly emotional. you can discard it and won't accidentally hit send on the reply button! If the sender is someone with a history of being rude over email. provided you still do the work you're expected to
Talk to your boss or human resources if there appears to be a pattern of rude emails developing. I will be happy to forward you the finished report before I leave work this evening. Do not send it until you've had time to think it through. As 101 Email Etiquette Tips suggests. got out of the wrong side of bed that day. If you are worried about my progress. and rudeness is simply something a well-run workplace can do without. or no need to answer a question. do it on a blank email or Word document. Nelly. so that you have a record and can back up what you're saying
Keep up your end of the bargain." Consider that you are being an example of politeness by not buying into the rudeness or any insinuations. press draft or delete.
speak to your boss or human resources about it. text message abbreviations and other common insertions used in informal emails or instant messages. Much like writing a formal business letter. look it up. your emails will reflect your professionalism and let your credentials shine Label your emails with a professional subject line.
Anything libelous. Address the recipient by name. it's always wise to include a business signature or other information to remind him who you
. Make it pertinent to the topic of your email. If nobody knows how to give this seminar. If you're concerned that the email contains any such objectionable content. or your legal representative if you don't wish to discuss it with the workplace. Make every attempt to learn the name of the email's recipient. or offensive in an email is actionable. remember that conveying emotions and intent correctly is not always possible in email. Most companies have a website or a phone directory.
Suggest that your workplace have a session on email etiquette. This may result in your emailing being sorted to the Junk Mail folder. harassing. defamatory. A professional subject line helps ensure your email's recipient will read the email and not disregard it for miscellaneous junk or spam. Establish your identity and corporate affiliation. A person sending such emails can be subject to discipline and even dismissal. We all have them but we all need to keep our sense of courtesy intact too. the recipient may not ever "get it". If you don't know his or her name. Even if it is. Professor Clay Shirky recommends to start communication face-to-face and then move on to email.
How to Use Proper Business Email Etiquette
Although Internet usage has caused an increased trend of informal communication practices. racist. Email is difficult even for a pro. Do not use simple sayings such as "For you" or "Please Read" in your subject line. By following a few tips and guidelines. talk to your boss or human resources for further advice. offensive. it's still a wise idea to follow through on proper business email etiquette when contacting a colleague for professional purposes. Even saying "Hi" every morning goes a long way to facilitating the social glue. Keep your own tone polite and non-threatening and let the rude coworker's words speak for themselves. Avoid falling into the habit of emailing your coworkers and boss about absolutely everything when just a few footsteps would have you in front of their desk and able to talk face to face. then send out for someone who does. that could be a sign that such training is needed! Realize that you don't have to put up with someone else's bad day. Stay polite and professional and if you have any concerns or you're afraid. Even if you and the recipient of your email have met before. A workplace that has fallen into the habit of always emailing and never talking despite proximity reduces the enjoyment of working with others and increases the chances of thoughtless communications using a medium that doesn't moderate behavior in the same way as seeing another person in front of us does. your business emails should not include slang terms. Some people are ticking timebombs and can vent more anger on you if you respond rudely. One way of dealing with a coworker who sends consistently rude emails is to CC in your boss or another relevant coworker every time that you reply (a sort of reverse coercion in that you're coercing them into keeping things polite). if possible. Email is discoverable in most jurisdictions and can expose your company to litigation.
and we generally take great care to make sure that snail mail letters are well written. Please respond stating how you would like us to continue.are and where you work. and bad taste.
How to Improve Your Email Etiquette
Just about everyone knows how to write a letter. It's always the right time to set your emails apart from the pack.
Sincerely. Your email should be concise. to-thepoint email is much easier to read and respond to than a lengthy. Please note that we are unable to track it. confusing one. but he or she may be reading your email on a mobile device. or We can issue a refund for the cost of the order. By including all information necessary. poor spelling. you help to expedite any deals made as a result of the email..
In a bid to get this resolved we are able to process one of the following: We can re-order the items We can issue a store credit to your Vistaprint account.. Write the purpose of your email out clearly. Follow these steps and improve your email etiquette... Not only is the reader a busy person. A shorter.
Angry customer --
Thanks for contacting Vistaprint. however there was no tracking details on the order.
. however. Provide any details necessary for the reader to make any decisions or take any actions. Thank you for choosing Vistaprint. It's a courtesy that lets them proceed to answering your email quickly. Just because text messages use abbreviations. Consider what impressions your emails make on others. Upon receipt of your response we will proceed accordingly. Propose any deals or relationships you hope to create as a result of the email. Avoid slang or rambling within your email. where it's easy to make an impression for less. have a tendency to be another matter entirely.. that is not a reason to include them in your professional email. Emails. Opening up your in-box can be like opening Pandora¶s box of inadequate grammar.
In reviewing the account it shows that the order number (XXXXXXXX) was shipped on XXXXX. instead of having to look up who you are and how to contact you.
protect their privacy by entering each address in the ³BCC:´ field. On the other hand. It also helps to prevent your email from being deleted before it has even been read. if it's a cover letter for a job application. Be consistent. Letters. and focused. and those on "CC:" are for keeping colleagues or bosses informed Make the subject line useful. It is harder to read letters on a computer screen than on a sheet of paper.´ Note that for company email. the majority of times this is just irritating and forces the reader to perform additional actions to deal with your email.
Use proper grammar and spelling. If you want to send the same email to others. Email inboxes are frequently swamped. if you¶re sending an email to people who don¶t know each other). If something is really urgent. A good subject line provides a useful summary of the email's content. conversational. addressees in the "to" field are expected to take action. Politeness cannot be overdone. If a word or notation is capitalized in one case. place their email address in the ³to´ field." or the recipient's name (the latter may be blocked by anti-spam filters). This sends everyone a ³blind carbon copy. Note that all the recipients will be able to see all the other recipients¶ email addresses. it should be so in all cases. generally begin with the salutation "Dear (recipient's name)". add these addresses in the ³CC:´ field. for example. Some formats use skipped lines rather than indents for new paragraphs. While there is no ideal email length. Also take care with seeking receipts. or you really need to make sure the recipient has your message.
Greet your recipient. so a good subject line helps the recipient determine the priority of your email.
Keep your email concise. It is irritating and presumptuous to assume your e-mail request is higher in the queue than anybody else's. If you¶re just sending an email to one person.
Use the recipient fields correctly." "What's up. Some use double space between sentences. so keep emails short and to the point. and an email with spelling or grammar errors reflects poorly. Choose either to spell out your numbers or use digits²do not alternate between them in the same email. especially in a work context. and "Hi" or "Hello" usually suffices. concise. you may want to use the traditional format instead. Depending on the purpose of the email. and avoid generic lines such as "Hi. Since the subject is the first thing your recipient sees. An email reflects on its author. and proofread and spell-check
. keep sentences short.
Avoid prioritizing your messages. keep it error free. emails are generally less formal. while there are certain instances when receipt required might be needed for record keeping purposes or proof of receipt. Be gracious enough to give the receiver credit for working out for themselves how to prioritize your message. if this is undesirable (for example. pick up the telephone and use it instead! Get out of the habit of marking every email as "Urgent! Receipt required!!" or "High Priority" or your emails will end up being treated like the boy who cried wolf and they'll all get ignored. use of "BCC:" may be considered impolite. of course. about 8-12 words and leave a space between paragraphs. Use standard English. preparing the reader quickly.
Be sure to include info that you are responding to. that urgent items should be done by telephone or face-to-face meet-ups.
. This takes additional energy to open the email and read it just to read what you already know. making you more productive. and while it's polite to try to meet these expectations.
Edit long emails when replying to them. but for emails sent to several people. Avoid sending an indistinct email that says only 'Yes. Alert your colleagues. emails arrive instantly. Consider the consequences of receiving an email. Organize the reply so that you quote parts of the original email and place your responses to each part directly below so that the recipient will know exactly what questions or statements from his or her email you are responding to. Unlike snail mail. A new trend is to include a line that says NTN .emails as you would any written communication. it can compound very quickly into hundreds of thousands of emails and everyone feels compelled to hit "reply all" as a means of keeping everyone in the loop because nobody knows who is meant to read it and who is not! Which invariably means that nobody ends up actioning the item!
Think twice before replying to just say thank you. and that otherwise. through an email signature or response. you can just reply to it as is. doing so chews up an enormous amount of your time. It is a sensible idea to schedule times to read and respond to emails.No Thanks Needed. and companies. Changing fonts and colors. you will get back to the person within a specified time frame. Error-free email is easier for the recipient to read. as well. Generally your reply to an email will include the original email. or using HTML can make an email look bizarre or render it unreadable for the recipient. Include the question that the recipient asked so they know what you are responding to. Some people don't want an email that says "thanks". write and respond to hundreds of emails every day. People will learn soon enough how your method operates. delete irrelevant parts (especially headers and signatures).
Avoid fancy formatting. Be judicious: Using "Reply All" all the time creates returns in abundance and leaves messages languishing in the in-boxes of many people. People typically expect a quick response. If the original email is short. and the sender knows this. you may need to choose the "Reply to All" option to send your response to everyone.
Schedule reply to emails. hitting reply all and it goes out to twenty people and then those twenty people hit reply to all. Keep it simple. inserting bullet lists.
Determine to whom you should reply.'. Many people. Emails sent to you solely generally require that you reply only to the sender. but if it's longer. even if the formatting looks fine on your computer.
If you need to pass it to someone else. then save it. send a fax or a typed set of pages in a letter. This can backfire if the person being BCC:'d replies back. compress or zip it or use online services that will help you send large files such as YouSendIt. even with the prevalent use of emoticons. you might change your mind and be better off for it.
End your email politely. pick up the phone or even go to see the person face-to-face. Don't send e-mails when you are emotional. If you need to send a larger file. A person's voice should tell you more about his or her intent than the written word will. All capitals is considered to be the equivalent of "shouting". not having seen that their copy was a blind one." can soften even a harsh email and can elicit a more favorable reply. Just type your name at the end of each email. and even smaller files can take a long time to open if the recipient's email connection is slow. However. If you reply to a message and then CC: a third-party that the original sender did not include. reply to it. Be cautious about using BCC:. Closing with a statement such as "Best wishes. title." "Good luck. It is hard enough to judge the tone of an email.
Sign your name.
Be careful of who you copy on replies. This may be acceptable in an informal email such as with a friend. earning you a flame letter in return. and contact information. If you need to send multiple pages. Don't add an attachment unless really necessary. be certain in your mind that the original sender will not be upset about it. in a formal letter you wouldn't have to tell someone that
. If the person was on the phone or in front of you. but anything over that can be a hassle for you or the recipient. chances are you would not ignore them if they asked a question.
Limit attachments. If someone asks you a valid question in an email. such as meeting plans or large text corrections. Better yet. Keep attachments as small as possible. so don't do it in an email.
Don't ignore valid emails. This is an unnecessary practice and it can annoy your recipient. Most email applications can send and receive attachments up to 1 MB." or "Thanks in advance for your help.
Do not use all caps. then CC: the sender so they know what is going on.com. This information may have been "for your eyes only". even if the answer is not what they want to hear. Doing this is polite and personal. Only add the recipients and send it after you have had time to think about what you are sending.
Be careful using abbreviations and emoticons. Feel free to write the subject and text of the email. It's frustrating to be ignored.
Think before you send. or use your email application to create a default signature with your name. This is especially important if the original sender is your work supervisor.
.-) can be used in informal emails to better express the emotions you are trying to communicate. and could feel you are being frivolous. This ensures that if you accidentally hit 'send' it won't go anywhere. When replying to an email.. In a work email. however. Always answer questions that are asked. Address these in your reply before somebody has to send a new email to ask about them. as not everybody will understand them." etc right up front. show the recipient your respect by getting straight to the point: "I'm hoping you will. Add whatever else you want but answer questions directly and simply. such as . When writing to an authority figure (boss. Some abbreviations. send a short response letting the sender know that you got the email and advising when you will respond.." "I think we should. Avoid using all caps or superfluous punctuation. If your email is on a very important or sensitive subject where you are choosing your words carefully. professional emails.. and most people don't indent in emails. et cetera) it is best to use your best grammar possible. Leave a space between paragraphs to make your email easier to read. making the case in the following lines. It's not necessary to indent paragraphs. don't add the address(es) of the recipient(s) until the email is ready to send. Keep in mind that many people or businesses will not open attachments from someone they don't know. Use spell-check if possible." people may find it inappropriate. it's often a nice idea to open with a brief personal note before getting into the main point of your email.
While abbreviations and non-standard spellings are acceptable for some informal emails." are commonly used in emails and are generally acceptable except in formal. so avoid opening attachments from an unfamiliar sender. Many people only read the first few lines before deciding to respond or to save for later. and some email accounts are set up to automatically send emails with attachments to the
. Those line should give enough of the "meat" to allow an informed decision. especially in work-related emails.
If you need to do some research or some thinking before you respond to an email.. Emoticons or faces made by combining characters. Attachments can be used to carry computer viruses. teacher. For personal emails. or if you're too busy to write a full response promptly. but these should be avoided in professional communications.you're "laughing out loud. and no abbreviations. use these with caution. or compose in Word or another program with advanced capabilities and then copy/paste into your email program. Make as few spelling mistakes as possible. Emails written with "caps lock" on appear unprofessional. you can save everybody some time by anticipating any questions or concerns your reply may elicit. such as "BTW" for "By the Way. and their big letters make it look like you're screaming at the email's recipient.
say. If no instructions are given. for example. but this is really a way to see if your email account is active. If it's on a touchy subject. Some spam emails say you can reply or click on a link to be removed from their mailing list. so if you're applying for a job.
Don't use your work signature for personal emails . and many people don't appreciate them. Usually restating the issue they are having will help to calm them. Don't talk to people you don't know. get him/her quickly and do your best to solve the problem. Make sure your sign-off is appropriate. Don't pretend to be someone you're not. 4
." 3 If they ask for the manager.spam folder. These emails clog inboxes and waste bandwidth.. 2 Approach the angry customer and ask what they are displeased with. and don't open messages you know to be spam.. read it twice. Be careful what you say or it may come back to bite you. and ask yourself if you would say this to them if they were right next to you. it can also be used in bad ways. Do not expect that the contents of your email will be kept private. login information. Getting angry back at them won't help. Don't reply to spam. make sure you follow the recipient's instructions regarding attachments. Email has also become a tool to ask or tell people things that you would normally never say face-toface (ever wonder why you become a different person instinctively online?). or face-to-face. listen 2 Empathize 3 Solicit feedback 4 Apologize 5 Take ownership and formulate a solution 6 Follow up 1 Be patient. For example. "I can understand your frustration with. send another email to let the recipient know you'll be sending an email with an attachment. If you are sending someone ANYTHING. Don't forward chain emails unless you want to earn the ire of your recipients.it will make you seem unfriendly
How to Handle Angry Customers1
Screen. reread it. Although email can be very useful. Use internet safety. An irritated customer won't be placated by anything but a satisfactory resolution to their problem.
because he doesn't do a great deal of work and causes the company a lot of time in dealing with his daily complaints. The time wasted on one client like this could be dedicated to patients that are "true" customers. If you come across one of those customers. vendors." 6 The next time they call back. you want them to come back again. If you feel yourself become emotionally involved in the issue. immediately call 911 and inform your supervisor when it is safe to do so. try to discuss with your manager whether this client is beneficial to the company or whether it might be worth to lose him. Then. your coworkers. "It's people like you that help our business. ask how their day is and do everything possible to be polite. if they are getting really angry you could ask them to leave the store or go and get someone higher than you. If a customer crosses the line by making abusive. treat your angry customer as you would want to be treated.
How to Deal With Aggressive Customers
. If you insult them. and they'll probably tell their friends. Companies would rather lose an abusive customer than have their employees. Say something to the effect of. 7 Don't rise to the occasion. give them something for free (you may need a manager's approval) to make up for it. threatening. If you simply cannot give the customer what they want. they are sure to take their business somewhere else.even if it's about your own job performance. Make the angry customer want to come back again.
Never be mean to the angry customer. 5 Compliment them after the discussion. If you handle the customer appropriately and apologize effectively you can turn a negative into a positive. and other customers comes first. Then. Remember. Think about how you would want a problem handled if you had a complaint. Some customers are known to complain about anything. or hostile actions or threatens to.After they address the problem. Please remember that the safety of you. it is best to step aside and let another employee handle the situation. or other clients hurt or worse in the course of business. make sure you do everything possible to correct the situation. apologize for taking their time and inform them that you will do everything possible to correct it.
Always be polite! Try not to take their complaint personally . A customer complaint can be a vehicle for customer retention.
Don't focus on the negatives . Remember that security can be a good back-up if relevant. or breaking items. issue threats. such as pushing an assistant. a person can feel that they are both justified and need to let off steam. Take her to the right person. if you do feel threatened. Try to remain as polite as possible. Tell the angry customer what you can do for him or her. This is not only a form of assurance. understanding manner. Ask them to return when they don't feel quite so worked up. try not to show it.
.focus on the possible. but it is also a vital lifeline when you need trained people to step in and "manhandle" a person is out of control or threatening you. who to speak with or see. away from others. When in anger. Echo their concerns in a calm. Explain that they will be escorted from the store if they continue to threaten you or other people. Have these at your fingertips wherever you work the most. It is prudent to know in advance how to deal with such customers. and make unreasonable demands. you have several options: Ask them to calm down or you will refuse service.
Know the numbers of security.Aggressive customers are a retailer's nightmare.
Avoid responding in kind! An angry person will try to wind you up so that they can have a bitter argument. You might even offer the customer a quiet room and a drink of water to regain their senses. One thing that can often take the wind out of the sails of anger is to accept where you have done wrong and to show the customer how you'll make amends as quickly as possible. especially if your workplace has not provided adequate training. shout. or do it for them! Show the angry customer that you are taking on their problem as your own.
If they start to get really angry. Avoid telling the angry customer what she needs to do. They may even be physical.
Do not show that you feel intimidated. It's more disarming than feeling defensive or trying a tit for tat argument. They are not to be confused with assertive customers who calmly insist on their rights ± these are the customers who get really wound up. While it is better still to not be intimidated.
How to Deal with Whiny Customers
Own a business. so prepare for a good long wait. do it with a smile and a willing attitude. One main reason why humans just can't seem to accept criticism is because we feel the critic is wrong. "Pardon me. However. don't take the remarks personally. I'm like a snail today. Maybe they are having a bad day. even your boss.. Just keep soothing him and telling him how sorry you are that he was inconvenienced. You should not be required to take cursing or insults from anyone. I can go ahead and ring you up now if you're ready. I'm especially lame today. If they ask (or command) you to do something. you can attempt to "handle" a customer like this: Customer: Man. Stay cool. and let them know you'll take that comment directly to your supervisor. all I want is this one item and you're taking forever. stop him right there. or to heart. That should be acceptable. or leave.
Accept criticism." If the customer fumes and stomps out. I had a little problem with the cash register. I guess that's why you guys don't need a college degree to work here. be sure to contact your supervisor and let him know you had an altercation with a customer. I'm so sorry. but I don't mean to hang anyone up. Just being helpful and soothing may help improve their mood and the way they treat you. and now that's my problem. consider whether or not the customer might be right. (take his merchandise. it's pretty hard for a guy like this one to keep on being a total jerk to you when
. You: (with a broad smile and a shrug and an apologetic tone) You know what. Even if there are no other customers. Offer to help them find what they're looking for. Even if the tone is sharp. but don't absorb it. Before you dismiss the criticism out of hand. If a customer is abusive to you. the criticism could be accurate. You: Oh. assuming it is a reasonable request.. And (address any other customers in earshot) just so you all know. but him.
Don't jump at them right away. The customer who gets whiny like this simply wants you to care about the fact that he's upset (even if it really isn't your fault he is)giving him a little validation here does not hurt you or your shop. Geez. Probably don't even need a diploma . Either way. some days it feels like that. it's not brain surgery. if you're feeling brave. I will ask you to be civil to me. then give him another big cheesy smile) Thanks for hanging with me through my mental lapse. See you next time. or are you employed? Have a good day even with the worst customers.
Respond to cursing or direct insults carefully. don't return an insult for an insult. Just say something like. but rather to turn his insults back around and make sure it's not you looking like a jerk. And see .making sure that you remain apologetic does not demean you at all. The object here is not to return his insult by insulting him directly. but I won't accept being spoken to this way. thank the customer for his or her input. Don't return cursing with cursing. Customer: (getting very nasty now) Oh.just enough brains to walk slow and say little words. ring him up.
I can give you cash for that difference. I'm sorry you're upset.
. and I'm in a hurry. Customer: (still irate but better) Mm. You: (now you realize he's in a pressured situation .. Here are some examples: Customer: I need to return this book. Rather than telling the truth. The last heading said to be positive. but I already have it. as our sign clearly states. I don't want credit . The trick is to make the customer believe that you are treating him as if he is actually in the right. I understand that you're in a rush. I can give you store credit for the full amount.I just want my money! You: Sir. keep a slight smile and remember that a difficult customer has probably just had a difficult day or gotten bad news.I could lose my job if I do anything else. as anyone with any experience in a retail situation knows. As mentioned in Step 1. that's not true. The truth is that the customer is almost always lying.would that help? It's really all I can offer you .
Be positive. (recognize that maybe he needs cash to buy gas. but please do not call me names or raise your voice. Try to help smooth his or her ruffled feathers by being helpful and attentive. they frequently come in telling outlandish stories. If you swap for an item of lesser value. Well. there's nothing else I want.you're so willing to agree with him.
Remember the old saying. just give me my money and don't make a federal case out of it. you can handle most anything with a nice sense of humor and a cool and collected persona that will win over the most difficult situation. but that's pretty rare. because they know they're about to get caught. I have to get to a funeral / my kid's parent-teacher conference / go pick up my kid / whatever. I've stated our policy. It is possible that s/he's just a jerk. not look positive. it shoots holes in their stories and they get defensive and begin getting angry. Calm down.going to a funeral? No wonder he's edgy. Customer: Look. You: (write his credit slip and give him the $5) Thanks for helping me out. or something) How about if I give you $5 cash and credit for the rest . you dummy. and the difference between the two is less than $5. Customer: No. Usually situations where you will need this skill most is when you have a returned item. or you may just go and swap it for anything else of equal value. all the time. Have a better day and we'll see you next time.. at least partly. I guess it's better than nothing. so I'm asking you to work with me here. and when you ask questions (just trying to figure out what went wrong). but. You: I'm sorry (point to the sign on your cash register) we don't give cash refunds. Okay. Customer: (angry) Look. and a sense of humor about the whole thing. and keeping a compassionate attitude toward him or her. and I want to make you happy here. a happy meal. the customer is always right? Well. I really do. You: (firmly) Sir. And you'll still feel way better after he leaves than you would have if you'd starting yelling or getting defensive with him. So I just want a refund. you can take store credit for the item. I apologize if our policy wasn't clear to your wife. Once you realize that. take a breath and speak calmly). My wife bought it for me.
say.you are completely confident that even if she does go someplace else. I'd rather do cash.. We handle credit card numbers on hundreds of customers just like you. they would still not let you reserve your books without money or a credit card. now. We checked and our policy is actually the most lenient of everyone in the area. gum? No? A quarter? Ummm. (smile . And I'll put $10 in my account. but with no money in your account. showing her that you are willing to reach into your personal pockets . and you're thinking "Good riddance. "Hey. I hope you won't do that. (refuses the candy) You: (turn out your pockets comically) How about some. I'll take the quarter.. (say her name if you know it) Jasmine. Customer: No. Customer: (super whiny now) Man . I can't reserve your books for you." Here's a situation where the customer knows exactly how your store's program for a weekly purchase of merchandise runs. And if you did. would they greet you like we do? Would they give you a piece of candy? (give her one . but it does work. Miscellaneous key? How about pocket lint . how's that.I have lots of that. that would work. while (A) remaining calm.I'm a good customer and you're treating me like a stranger! You know I'm good for it! (the irony here is that she's probably not one of your big customers ..here's what happened. You can continue with your discount. Can you work with that? You: Of course. I was in a crunch and I made an executive decision .. You: Oh.") You: (calm) Oh..
The situation here is nearly defused when you refused to (A) be insulted. (all pissy now. and your boss will probably congratulate you for handling this well. You could just put a credit card on file.and generally keeping a positive spin on
.. I hope this was all right. and (C) offering a sensible compromise solution. too) Customer: Well maybe they would treat me nicer. She is constantly trying to work you or your staff to get you to let her do things her way instead of your way. she'll be back. It may not be ideal. You have three customers in line behind her. and she's being difficult.keep some little candies by the register for this exact purpose) Customer: I don't eat candy.but she probably feels like she's a big spender in your shop) Maybe I'll take my business someplace else. (B) not joining in with the abusive manner and hurling insults back at him. we'd miss you. How much did you want to deposit? Customer: None. You: Good enough! Using humor and a self-deprecating manner. Customer: Yeah. Customer: (should be smiling at least a little now) Okay. The key to the happy ending is that you make contact with your supervisor immediately and let him or her know what happened . (B) be abused.
Customer: Why do I have to put money in? Can't I just shop off the shelves for my stuff? You: You don't have to. You: Great! Let's do it. and (C) recant your policies. but what about identity theft? You: We're very secure.not just offer her store stuff . And you're letting all the customers she is saying this in front of know that you have that confidence.
will occasionally be on the customer's end of a complaint: Do unto others. Be careful if you need to correct customers! Do not volley insults. and that her money is in good hands. and you could (once again) get fired. tell the customer that sort of comment is not welcome in your establishment. Make eye contact. and that the original irritation may have been aggrevated by thirty minutes on hold with third-rate music. If things get serious. too. Your ability to stay cool under pressure will help them feel you can handle anything . they have to feel confident that you will handle it properly. that you are willing to go the extra mile for her. you may get fired. If you normally use incorrect grammar.
. If you don't tell your boss first. but don't stare for more than one second. People get weird about their money.
Mind your manners. not only her. or racist/sexual/religious jokes.including their money. the customer may tell your boss.her upset will show. but your other customers in line. If s/he will not stop making such comments. Tell your boss immediately. Assume the best and keep in mind that you.. try to correct it while around customers. order him or her to leave. Smile when the job's done.
If you can't learn to handle difficult customers and just run tattling to your boss all the time. or if the person makes more than one extremely offending remarks.
Never forget that the customer often has a valid reason to complain. Don't speak in slang or use sarcasm as humor with customers.