One hour this time…
This is how long I sat there listening to someone else swearing and cursing at me, my company and my ability to do any meaningful work on the phone. The first five minute was fairly scary, as scary as any angry person swearing on the other side of the phone can get. It caught me off guard because I was in an Engineering mode that promotes exchange of ideas between geeks and brainiacs.
So, after an initial flutter and stutter, my memory kicked in and I switched into what I refer as call management mode. This is when, I really appreciate the skills I gained when dealing with Yo Mama’s is a daily routine. So, how do you calm a cussing and swearing person down? This is what I did.
- Listen, or if unable to, the lack of talking is enough. On extreme cases when the swearing gets too repetitive and lack any new vocabulary, turn on your mp3 player. I suggest buying a creative zen stone for $40 and load it with heavy metal music for this purpose.
- It’s nothing personal, contemplate on the grammatical structure of the swearing if you have to. For some people, this is their style of getting things done and communicating. Treat it like any other customer.
- They are swearing for a reason and usually they are right. However, there’s usually nothing you can do to speed things up because part of your responsibility is to take this kind of shit. So tell them you understand their position which is why you are doing everything you can to speed up whatever process. (Everything you can meaning everything you can within the alloted time/effort to this particular client. This decision is up to sales and marketing)
- Tell them:”I am sorry that this has caused you so much inconvenience.” and repeat what measures you’ve already taken to make sure it doesn’t happen again. (These, of course hasn’t happened, but you will do it after you hang up the phone, I call this time shifting. It’s true and false, but won’t make you feel like a liar)
- Repeat what they are asking you to complete to confirm with them. This will force their logical side to kick in and answer a yes or no. If they say you are stupid for not understanding them, blame the phone line for being too noisy and that you can’t make out some of the (swear) words they are using.
- Apologize. It is your fault. Be a man and deal with it.
It’s getting so impersonal now that I am starting to doubt my ability to actually feel sorry for the wrong I did. I find that my actions doesn’t really correspond with what I feel sometimes.