The one thing I hated about working in customer service, retail, and hospitality was dealing with rude customers. Even worse than rude customers were some of the incompetent and sometimes mean bosses who always took the side of the customer. If a customer doesn’t like your company’s policy, getting in trouble for doing your job can be soul-crushing. Many cowardly managers throw their employees under the bus so they don’t have to deal with getting chewed out. Nevertheless, in this story, the boss shows just what true leadership looks like by teaching a rude and entitled customer a lesson she will never forget.
My boss is really great. He instructs staff to use one-word responses when customers become unreasonable, and to hit the ‘panic’ button – a monitor that pipes the conversation through to him. Conversations like this still occur, but at least it’s all handled.
Customer: “This is ridiculous! I had to stand in line for 15 minutes! Why couldn’t you serve me sooner?”””
Me: *hit the button* “Sorry, sir. Other people were in front of you. How can I help?”””
Customer: “Give me the [Product], and I’ll take 20% off!”.
Me: “Sorry, sir, I can’t do that, and there is no reason to; this is normal business. We wait in line every day.”
Customer: “Yes, you can. If you don’t give it to me, I’ll take your job! You worthless minimum wage scum!”
Me: “Can’t.” I go into DefCon mode.
This is where my boss’ one-word strategy works so well. Irate customers can easily ignore a sentence, but it’s hard to misunderstand a single word.
Customer: “Can’t? Sure you can! What do you mean by that?”””
Customer: “What’s the point?”
Customer: “Whose order is this?”
Customer: “Well, I’ll get your boss!”
Me: “Okay.” (My boss comes out.)
Customer: “This employee was being extremely rude to me! I want my purchase free, or at least with a big discount!
Customer: “No? What do you mean? She’s being rude!”
Boss: “Don’t be rude.” *Okay, sometimes you have to use two words*
Customer: “She was!”
Boss: *points to monitor* “Monitor.”
Boss: “I heard that.”
Boss: “Don’t be rude.”. There will be no discount.”
Customer: “The customer is always right! So why not?”
(At this point, my boss will give his typical speech.)
Boss: “Five reasons why.”
Boss: “Here are five reasons why you don’t get a discount.”
Customer: “What do you mean?” “Who are they?””””
Boss: “One: I don’t have to. And two: I don’t want to. Three: There is no reason for me to. Four: You can’t force me. Five: I won’t.”
Customer: “I won’t come back here again!”
Boss: “You should have said that before. I might have given you the discount if you had said you would never come back if I gave you a discount.”
(The customer left. The case is closed.)
Thank you for reading. Could you please share this story with your family and friends?
- Viral slot: “Boss Goes Postal On A Rude Customer.”.