Don’t tell me to calm down

09Jan09

Asking a customer to “calm down” is probably one of the worst things you can do. Think about it for a moment: if the person is genuinely pissed off, they’re going to view the request as condescending — an indication that you don’t understand why they’re upset. Similarly, if they’re already calm but you ask them to calm down as part of your regular customer service script, they’re going to figure out that you haven’t been paying attention to their actual state of mind.

Rather than telling people that they need to change their outward behavior, try asking them what it would take to resolve the problem as they view it. If you focus on addressing the actual reason why they’re unhappy, you’re much more likely to end up with a customer that behaves the way you want them to. In other words, spend your time fixing the problem, not guessing at how someone may or may not be feeling about the situation.



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