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Abusive customers at work - how to deal with them?


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I work in a children's theme park, and i've been struggling lately to deal with aggressive or argumentative customers. One part of my job is to sell admission tickets to the park and one of the company's deals is that if a child is under 90cm then they can enter the park for free, as there's only several rides they can go on. I'm sure you can imagine how many parents we get trying to tell us their child is under the height restriction to avoid paying. Normally its fine, but i've had some really unpleasant customers.

They insist and insist and i'm quite a sensitive person and it really gets to me when people are shouting at me, swearing sometimes and saying "Oh this is f*****g stupid" etc, and demanding why their child can't go free. It's never been serious enough for me to call for my supervisor (who isn't particularly sympathetic) but its starting to depress me knowing that every day (i work 6 days a week) i'll have a customer like that, which gets me down for the rest of the day then. I also feel like i demean myself daily by the number of times i have to say "sorry" to a customer even when it isn't my fault.

 

I can't leave my job, i'm only there until september anyway, and the money is too good to throw it in. I'm just hoping for some advice on ways of dealing with the abuse. I struggle to let it just "go over my head" and hopefully, you'll have suggestions for me!

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Try not to take it personally. After all, you didn't set the policy. You are just someone doing their job.

 

Is there some sort of complaint number or form that they can use when they aren't happy? If so, when someone starts to complain like that I'd simply tell them "Hey, I can see you are really upset. If you feel that strongly, here is the number you can call to talk to corporate about their policy (or, here's a form you can mail in to express your opinion about the policy). Then it gets you out of the firing line from having to defend a policy you have no control over, and it gives the parents another avenue to vent to and you appear to be very helpful and courteous to them. Sometimes that is all someone wants is for someone to listen to them vent or give them some way to moan about it. Most people will probably never fill out the form or call, but at least you gave them the information.

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Do you ever ask if they want to talk to the supervisor? I work at a restaurant and every time a guest freaks out I ask if they need a manager and most of the time they say no and shut up, but sometimes they say yes and then my manager is the one that has to deal with their steak being undercooked not me.

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Turn to the child and say "Aww, nevermind, guess your growing too quick." then look at the parent with a sympathetic smile and a shrug.

 

or try saying "I'm sorry if it was up to me all kids would go free" and give a half smile and shrug.

 

Or, I can get a second opinion if you like? Or I can call a supervisor if you don't think the measuring instrument is correct?

 

Like the others say Don't take it personal, they hoped for a cheap day out and didnt get one oh well, such is life.

 

Wth are they doing swearing infront of their children anyhow?

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Your manager doesn't need to be sympathetic to you, they need to deal with the problem customers as they see fit. So stop shouldering the whole burden and call the manager over to show you the best way to handle it, and whenever it doesn't work for you, call on them to handle it. It's a management policy, so let management answer for it.

 

In your corner.

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