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August 2004 Issue

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Taming Tough Customers

Published August 2004

"The customer is always right" has long been a business byword.

But not when that customer's screaming, yelling and acting like he's about to poke your lights out.

And that happens. So the savvy managers and survival-oriented employees would do well to learn how to handle aggressive behavior in the workplace.

UC's DeAnna Beckman, MSW, LISW, is just the person to teach employees how to deal professionally with angry, irritated or downright obnoxious customers, and maybe even save the sale.

Beckman, executive director of the College of Medicine's Center for Threat Assessment, assists companies in managing workplace violence issues.

From recognizing the signs and symptoms of customer agitation, to not taking abuse personally, to remaining empathetic, to knowing if necessary when and how to call a cop-these are just some of the things taught by Center for Threat Assessment staff.

To learn other ways how you and other customer-service professionals can make the best of what could be a bad day, call Beckman at 558-3951.

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