I was visiting with a CSR recently about her experience with an abusive customer. This unpleasant individual was one of those people who, when upset, cannot control himself. He takes his displeasure out—in loud, abusive language—on whoever is nearby.
This is, of course, completely unacceptable.
The problem for the CSR was her employer wouldn’t do anything about it. What does this say about him as an agency owner? Let’s consider some possibilities:
He’s greedy. He wants the money the customer provides more than he cares about his employees.
He’s gutless. He doesn’t have the courage to confront the customer’s behavior.
He’s shortsighted. He thinks both the customer and the employee will get over the problem. (The employee certainly won’t, of course!)
He’s disengaged from the business. Why else would something like this not matter to him?
None of these are positive attributes for a business owner! The immediate downside for the owner is that the employee gets the message the boss can’t be trusted. No one wants to work for someone they can’t trust. The long-term problem for the business owner is that he will experience low employee morale, higher than normal turnover, and attract more of the wrong kind of customers, leading to lower retention and less profitable business in addition to the employee problems.
Just as no successful, growth-oriented agency can achieve its aspirations without quality employees it also cannot do so without quality customers. When there are unacceptable negative behaviors in either one they must aggressively be rooted out.
Just as you would terminate an abusive employee immediately, you must do the same with abusive customers—even faster if possible.