Author Topic: Calling an Angry Customer - Curious Update, Post #30, #47  (Read 8470 times)

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Girlie

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Calling an Angry Customer - Curious Update, Post #30, #47
« on: February 22, 2013, 10:49:18 AM »
I have a question to put forth...

I realize that all management styles are different, but this just strikes me as wrong. I'd like to get the opinions of my fellow ehellions about whether or not the manager broke professional etiquette in this situation.

I work in a bank. Obviously, bank privacy laws are an important part of our job. A customer became upset with a co-worker of mine for a small breach of privacy (an account balance was accidentally printed when someone else made a deposit for her. Note that our system automatically defaults to print the balance). The customer called upper management, and the branch manager and customer service (a total of three different people) to yell at them. Yes, she did literally yell.
I am not arguing that my co-worker shouldn't get a lecture or some sort of punishment for the mistake. However, she was informed this morning that our branch manager expects her to call this customer so that the customer can (in the customer's own words) "tell her what a horrible person she is!!!"
Isn't this the sort of situation where professional etiquette would dictate that the manager play peace officer, at least until s/he knows that the employee isn't calling someone simply to be bombasted and abused for a mistake that, honestly, anyone on our system could have made?

Note: I understand having employees call customers to aplogize in most instances. My question is specifically: When management has already dictated and admitted that the customer is beyond "reasonable" and has said that the customer "won't even let you talk," is it right to make the employee make that phone call?
My view is: the customer being upset, absolutely. The customer being volatile... It just seems wrong.
« Last Edit: February 27, 2013, 01:41:06 PM by Girlie »

siamesecat2965

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Re: Calling an Angry Customer
« Reply #1 on: February 22, 2013, 11:01:33 AM »
The employee should absolutely NOT call the customer. Was it an honest mistake, i.e. did the employee KNOW that this wasn't the account holder making the deposit? If not, and the default is to print out the balance on the deposit confirmation, then the employee, IMHO did nothing wrong.

And quite honestly, even if they did know it wasn't the customer, it doesn't sound like it was intentional. The employee did her job, and it probably didn't even cross her mind that the person making the deposit woudl then SEE the account holder's balance. I know if it were me, if I were busy doing my job, that's not something that would cross my radar. Esp if printing the balance was the norm, and nothing special had to be done to do that. It seems to be just an inadvertant oversight on the part of the employee. Yes, privacy rules are in place for a reason, but it seems to be one of those situations that you don't do anything about, or know to do anything about, until it actually happens.

The manager absolutely should placate the customer, and NOT get the employee involved. that will just open up a huge can of worms. Esp if all the customer wants to do is yell at the employee. Its over and done with, and hopefully, won't happen again. But to dwell on it is both unprofessional, and not nice to the employee.

I posted in the SS thread about a customer I had the other day who told me I was rude, i.e. I didn't give her the instantaneous answer she wanted, beacuse I cannot access that specific information. But I was most certainly not rude.  Manager got it, called her back, but had to leave a message. As far as I'm concerned, the matter is closed. However, if the customer then made a stink, and I was ordered to call and apologize, I would refuse. I was nothing but polite and professional, and she was the rude one. So in my mind, there would be no reason at all for me to call the customer back, esp since she too did not let me get a word in, after she launched into her diatribe.

amylouky

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Re: Calling an Angry Customer
« Reply #2 on: February 22, 2013, 11:15:27 AM »
In some situations, such as if the employee was rude or deliberately made a mistake, I do think they should call the customer and apologize. In this situation though, it sounds like the bank software defaulting to print the balance is the actual problem, and that's not your CW's responsibility. If privacy is such an issue, why isn't it the default to not print the balance?

siamesecat2965

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Re: Calling an Angry Customer
« Reply #3 on: February 22, 2013, 11:19:09 AM »
In some situations, such as if the employee was rude or deliberately made a mistake, I do think they should call the customer and apologize. In this situation though, it sounds like the bank software defaulting to print the balance is the actual problem, and that's not your CW's responsibility. If privacy is such an issue, why isn't it the default to not print the balance?

Yes. I forgot to mention that if the employee was deliberatly rude or messed up, then I don't have a problem with them calling to apologize. but somethign like this, no.

TootsNYC

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Re: Calling an Angry Customer
« Reply #4 on: February 22, 2013, 11:22:44 AM »
I would absolutely never let someone else tell my employee "what an awful person she is."

So telling an employee to call someone that I knew would do this to her? Not happening.

I don't care how mad the customer is--in fact, the madder she is, the less likely I am to request that my employee get in touch with them.


Bethalize

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Re: Calling an Angry Customer
« Reply #5 on: February 22, 2013, 11:54:25 AM »
it is absolutely not right to insist that an employee subject themselves to abuse.

Twik

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Re: Calling an Angry Customer
« Reply #6 on: February 22, 2013, 12:16:05 PM »
What exact mistake did your coworker make? It sounds like she didn't override the default to print the balance - did anyone ask her to do that? If not, it's hardly a "mistake".

In any event, this is counterproductive for the bank. The customer sounds like she would not be happy even with your colleague's apology, and I suspect that anything she says will be twisted into more fuel for the customer's rage. It would be FAR better for the bank as well as your colleague that the management give their apology, but not appear to be dragging out a worker as a sacrifice to Customer's wrath.
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JenJay

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Re: Calling an Angry Customer
« Reply #7 on: February 22, 2013, 12:23:00 PM »
In some situations, such as if the employee was rude or deliberately made a mistake, I do think they should call the customer and apologize. In this situation though, it sounds like the bank software defaulting to print the balance is the actual problem, and that's not your CW's responsibility. If privacy is such an issue, why isn't it the default to not print the balance?

Yes. I forgot to mention that if the employee was deliberatly rude or messed up, then I don't have a problem with them calling to apologize. but somethign like this, no.

I agree with both of these posts. The customer has made it clear that she isn't looking for an acceptable resolution, she's just super angry and wants to yell some more. Not cool.

Girlie

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Re: Calling an Angry Customer
« Reply #8 on: February 22, 2013, 12:49:57 PM »
In some situations, such as if the employee was rude or deliberately made a mistake, I do think they should call the customer and apologize. In this situation though, it sounds like the bank software defaulting to print the balance is the actual problem, and that's not your CW's responsibility. If privacy is such an issue, why isn't it the default to not print the balance?

So far, I agree with everyone here.
When my co-worker told me about having to make this call, we agreed with you all.

To clarify: You really are supposed to not print the balance on receipts unless you specifically know the customer. She should not have done so. However, the default being what it is, it is literally the matter of not hitting a button. As in: to print the balance, you'd hit the ENTER button. To not print the balance, you'd hit one of the ARROW OVER buttons, and then the ENTER button. It's easy to understand how, especially if she was feeling rushed, she may have missed hitting the first button.

----- After this particular scenario, the bank is looking in to see if they can have the default changed. We tellers have argued for this change for a while, so that makes the whole situation even more stinky from our perspective.  :-\

triciadi

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Re: Calling an Angry Customer
« Reply #9 on: February 22, 2013, 03:16:45 PM »
I handle escalated complaints at a financial institution.  When we receive a call from a customer complaining about an employee, we would never ever ask that employee to call the customer and I believe the manager is out of line to request this.

A written apology from the Manager would be the best solution.

And if the customer was so worried about their privacy, they likely shouldn't have asked someone else to make the deposit on their behalf.  But it would definitely be rude to tell them that!


oceanus

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Re: Calling an Angry Customer
« Reply #10 on: February 22, 2013, 03:27:41 PM »
Quote
it sounds like the bank software defaulting to print the balance is the actual problem, and that's not your CW's responsibility. If privacy is such an issue, why isn't it the default to not print the balance?

Exactly.  I rarely go inside the bank, but the teller always asks if I want a balance.

I understand the customer being upset - very upset - but the reaction was, way over the top.  Calling 3 different people, yelling.  Manager should have taken care of it and co-worker should not have to call customer for the sole purpose of listening to personal insults.

pierrotlunaire0

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Re: Calling an Angry Customer
« Reply #11 on: February 22, 2013, 03:52:13 PM »
As a manager, absolutely not.  I have had customers scream to me about one of my employees, and I will apologize and address appropriately in private later.  There is no good point letting a customer have a tantrum without end.  Ultimately, I am responsible for my staff.  They can scream at me, they can write angry letters about me.  I will apologize.  But I do not allow customers to bully my staff. 
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cheyne

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Re: Calling an Angry Customer
« Reply #12 on: February 22, 2013, 04:14:48 PM »
The managers in your place of business are not doing their job, and are chicken-scratch to boot. 

I don't care what Employee did.   If it was so egregious (racial slur) or illegal (stealing money) that she would be fired, I will fire her and tell the customer that the matter was handled.  If it is not a firable offense, I will have a private meeting with Employee and tell the customer that the matter was handled.

Either way I will be the one to deal with the customer and tell them that the matter was handled.  That is my job as the manager.  If Customer wants to chew butt, she chews mine-not my employee's.

Auntie Mame

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Re: Calling an Angry Customer
« Reply #13 on: February 22, 2013, 04:22:31 PM »
That is so beyond not okay I can't even see it with a telescope.

Mistakes happen, I wouldn't blame a customer forbeing upset over a mistake and yes the company should do absolutely everything in their power to correct the mistake and make amends.  This does not include allowing a spoiled brat to scream obscenities at an employee. 

The manager needs to man up and do his job and the customer needs to calm the heck down and stop acting like a spoiled, self centered drama queen. 
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Brisvegasgal

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Re: Calling an Angry Customer
« Reply #14 on: February 22, 2013, 09:11:23 PM »
I totally agree with the other posters.  I have managed people and when a client has requested a supervisor or called back to complain they spoke to me.  I think it's inappropriate for the client to speak to the person who made the mistake and I would never have let this happen.