Every service technician encounters various types of customers in the course of a career. Each customer is unique and has a different personality.

Although most customers simply want their equipment repaired in a timely and professional manner, each one expresses that need differently.

Any service tech who has worked in the industry long enough has, at one time or another, come across a customer who is enraged. Learning to work with an irate customer can be challenging; however, it is a necessary skill every technician must learn to master.

When confronted with an angry customer, a service tech must not take the customer’s actions personally and react negatively toward the customer. This will only serve to increase the customer’s anger and cause additional problems for the service technician. A technician should never argue with the customer. He or she should attempt to convey thoughts in a professional manner.

Keep a Cool Head

When speaking with the customer, the technician should keep a level but assertive speaking voice. If this is not possible, the technician should walk away from the job and call the office for support. The supervisor or manager may be better suited to resolve the conflict.

Again, never argue with the customer — it will only make matters worse.

Sometimes a customer becomes enraged over the cost of a job or the amount of work needed to be performed. If this happens, it is sometimes helpful for the service tech to try and see the customer’s point of view. If the service tech can agree with the customer’s concern, then the customer may become more reasonable.

Another scenario that can cause a customer to become irate is when a piece of equipment under warranty fails. They want to know what caused the failure in such a short period of time and they want to know right away — usually before the service technician has had a chance to troubleshoot the equipment. The service technician needs to keep cool and handle the repair like any other. Again, do not confront or argue with the customer. Call for help if the customer is still angry.

Remember: Keep a cool head, appreciate the customer’s point of view, and call for support when needed. All these tips will point you toward the common goal — providing your customers service that is both professional and courteous.

Marcheseis the owner of Arctic-Air Refrigeration, Pittsburgh, PA.

Publication date: 12/04/2000