Being in the field of customer service means that from time to time, we have to deal with angry customers. We’re told not to take it personally as they’re not upset with us, but with their not getting their money’s worth from the products and services we provide. But what if the customer is so upset they actually threaten to kill us? Then the situation escalates to a level that requires precise reactions to defuse the situation. Following is a possible approach to take to a customer’s threat of violence.
Customer: You know what? We’re getting nowhere fast. We’ve been on the phone for what, 2 hours and what have we accomplished? My Internet service still isn’t working and now you want to send out a technician and have him charge me for something that’s not even my fault?
Me: But there’s no charge if the problem is outside your house.
Customer: And there shouldn’t be a charge if the problem is inside my house either. You know what? Forget it. I’m fed up with AT&T and I’m fed up with you!
Me: I’m sorry you’re so upset.
Customer: I’m sorry, I’m sorry, I’m sorry! That’s all I ever hear. Tell me, is that how you were trained? To apologize endlessly and take the blame for all the problems with your Internet service?
Customer: SHUT UP! I can’t stand you. Where do you live?
Me: Excuse me?
Customer: Where do you live?
Me: Why do you need to know where I live?
Customer: So I can kill you. What’s your address?
Me: Are you serious?
Customer: Answer my question! What’s your address?
Me: I’m not telling you where I live.
Customer: You will tell me where you live. Tell me NOW!
Me: I live on the Moon.
Customer: Excuse me?
Me: I live on the Moon.
Customer: You live on the Moon.
Me: On the edge of Mare Imbrium. You can’t miss it.
Customer: So you live on the edge of Mare Imbrium on the Moon.
Customer: Fine, I’ll call NASA and make arrangements to fly to the Moon so I can kill you. Got it?
Me: I’ll be waiting.
And that should hold the customer for a few years as they find a way to finance their trip to the Moon. However, in the unlikely event that you do hear from them again, chances are they’ll be more deranged than ever. Following is a way to deal with them as well.
Customer: You lied to me!
Me: I’m sorry?
Customer: You said you live on the Moon! I finally flew up there but didn’t find you! I am really going to kill you now! Now tell me your address!
Me: Oh, I don’t live on the Moon anymore.
Customer: You don’t? Where do you live now?
Me: I live on the Sun.
Customer: You live on the Sun.
Me: Near Active Region 9393. You can’t miss it.
Customer: I’m on my way.
You will never hear from him again.