Dealing with Business Bullies

We occasionally get intransigent customers who want things fixed but do not want to cooperate with us. I had to politely tell one off last Friday. Today a self-important customer wanted to blame us for the failure of a third-party web server. After explaining what I saw, he responded that I “had no idea” how important he is. No big deal. I wrote back, explained with a little more detail, and closed with:

I would further request that you maintain a professional tone when interacting with our staff. We take pains to ensure consistent support to all of our customers. A condescending tone on your part does nothing to yield results, and only builds animosity in relationships with your business partners. I thank you in advance for your understanding and cooperation.

As someone who has played the part of smarmy know-it-all bully, I can tell from experience that when someone calmly confronts you head-on, gives you a competent explanation, and then requests that you behave yourself, well, unless you got some seriously sociopathic issues, that works really damned well.

But, we’ll see. I could have laid it down a bit more politely …

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Categories: Technology

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