Customer Service Outburst: 5 Needs That Ruin Customer Experience

Customer Service Outburst: What Drives You to Lose It?

It is never OK to yell at or demean a customer. When I say that in my customer service workshops, everyone nods and agrees. So why does it happen? What brings you to lose your cool and deliver a customer service outburst?

Customer Service Outburst: Image is Picture of Nockamixon Lake at State Park in PA.

Customer Service Outburst: These Needs Ruin Customer Experience. Image by Gail Frederick.

Image of Lake Nockamixon State Park by Gail Frederick via Flickr Creative Commons License.

Customer Service Outburst: Be Aware of Your Emotional Needs!

The Story That Gave Birth to This Post

On a recent visit to Lake Nockamixon State Park near Quakertown, PA, a visitor pulled into a parking lot. There were some sections that had been repaved but they were not completely blocked off. It was confusing to know where to park. The visitor pulled in where she saw two pick up trucks w/ boat trailers yet she still wasn’t sure if it was OK to park there.

The park ranger approached. The visitor thought, great, I’ll ask the ranger. The ranger said, “I am so frustrated. I’ve had a terrible time blocking this off. You are ruining this parking lot. Didn’t you see the cones?” The visitor overlooked the ranger’s bad customer service outburst and said, “I need some help. Where should I park?” The ranger had a choice at this point: Help or yell. Unfortunately the ranger decided to yell. The visitor remained calm and said, “if you could just tell me where to park the problem would be solved.” The ranger demeaned the visitor again and said: “Anywhere accept here — didn’t you see the cones? The cones are right there.” Why did this park ranger act so badly to a customer asking for help?

When you yell at a customer who is asking for help, you look unprofessional — like a selfish, immature, heartless bully.

Psychological Needs That Ruin Customer Service Experience

  1. Need to vent your frustration about communication difficulties. Don’t fall prey to this. Simply reduce the confusion and help the customer. A customer service outburst can’t possibly makes things better.

  2. You can’t admit the confusion you initially created. It is far better to admit to yourself that your initial efforts weren’t clear. Customers will respect you for your ownership, maturity, and help.

  3. You need to be right no matter what. This ego driven need is a relationship killer in life and in business. This is especially harmful in customer service. Check your ego. What is making you so insecure?

  4. You are tired, overheated, hungry etc… Physical needs can turn into emotional customer service outbursts — if you let them. Don’t go there. Know how you are feeling and address those needs separately. Customers don’t deserve your venting and dumping.

  5. You need to feel powerful. When customers are asking for help and you choose to yell and demean them, you are meeting your needs for power not their need for help. FYI: Giving help to customers is the best exercise of power — the power to care and help.

As you read through the list above, picture customers. Picture the customers in the story coming to Lake Nockamixon on a beautiful summer day to relax after a hard week. What do you want them to experience and remember? Your meanness? Nothing justifies a customer service outburst that demeans and/or dumps on them. Rise above the power of your emotional needs. Stop for a moment. Breathe. Hear the customer’s pleasant plea for help. Don’t have them here your customer service outburst.

Will you be able to sleep better tonight (a) knowing that you helped customers or (b) knowing that you had your say and demeaned the customers? What type of person do you want to be? What kind of life do you want to live? If the answer is (a), the world of customers thanks you. If it’s (b), do yourself and others a favor. Find a new career outside of the service arena.

From my professional experience to your success,
Kate Nasser, The People Skills Coach™

Related Posts:
19 People Skills of Outstanding Customer Service Reps
Memorable Customer Experience: Far Deeper Than a Smile

©2016 Kate Nasser, CAS, Inc. Somerville, NJ. I appreciate your sharing the link to this post on your social streams. However, if you want to re-post or republish the content of this post, please email for permission and guidelines. Thank you for respecting intellectual capital.

Kate Nasser, The People Skills Coach™, delivers coaching, consulting, training, and keynotes on leading change, employee engagement, teamwork, and delivering the ultimate customer service. She turns interaction obstacles into interpersonal success. See this site for workshop outlines, keynote footage, and customer results.


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~Kate Nasser, The People Skills Coach™

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