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Defusing Hostile Customers Sample Exercises

Examples of the Exercises Included in the Defusing Hostile Customers Workbook

The Defusing Hostile Customers Workbook can be used with or without doing the exercises contained in it, but it's best to take the time to do them. Each chapter has a set of exercises, and space to write responses. At the back of the book, the answers (or possible right answers) are included.

While this isn't a complete replacement for attending training, the exercises approximate the thinking that one learns in the process of developing skills to deal with difficult and angry customers.

On this page you'll see the exercises for Chapter 2, and if you click on the link at the bottom of the page you can see an example of the answers provided at the back of the book.

 

Chapter II Exercises & Assignments


Practice Exercises

2.1 Bait Identification

Below are some common things that hostile customers say to government employees. For each item determine whether it contains "bait", and explain what the customer is really saying to the employee. (the implied messages). Check your answers with the answers at the back of the book (Appendix A). Remember, you DON'T want to take the bait and get hooked.

2.1.1 I want to speak to someone who knows what they are doing. Is there a man I can speak to?


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2.1.2 I don't know what to do next. I have to feed my family, and can't hardly put food on the table now.


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2.1.3 Look, if you reduce my check, my kids are going to starve, and it's going to be your fault.


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2.1.4 I want your supervisor's number, so I can call to clarify to make sure you are correct


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2.1.5 How can you say that, don't you know your own laws? We'll see who is right give me your supervisor's number.


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2.2 What's Wrong With This Picture


Take a look at the following dialogues. Indicate whether you feel the employee's response is effective or not (i.e. would it defuse the situation). Explain why and compare your answers with the ones in Appendix A.


2.2.1


Customer: "Look, if you reduce my check, my kids are going to starve, and it's going to be your fault.


Employee: "There's nothing I can do about that, so you will have to figure out what to do, I guess ".


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2.2.2


Customer: Look, if you reduce my check, my kids are going to starve, and it's going to be your fault.


Employee: I can tell you're upset about this situation, and I will do my best to help you out. Would you like me to suggest some alternatives for you?"


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2.2.3

Customer: I want your supervisor's number so / can call to clarify to make sure you are correct.


Employee: She's just going to say exactly what I just said. If you want to waste your time, go ahead.


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2.3 Job Work


2.3.1 Tomorrow at work, observe people interacting. Identify any phrases or actions that appear to contribute to the escalation cycle. Write them down.


Escalating Actions I observed:

 

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2.3.2 After your next interaction with a hostile customer, take a few moments to answer the

following questions:

 

Did I take the bait?_______________________________________________________________________

 

Did I do anything to contribute to the escalation cycle? (Describe).


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At any point, did I act defensively or counterattack? (How?)


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If I could do it over again, what would I do differently?


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2.4 Food For Thought


2.4.1 Child/Adult Hostility Similarities


Over the next few days, observe hostile and angry people around you. Pay attention to the ways that adults express their hostility and anger. What similarities do you find between the way adults express their anger, and the way children do? When you are angry, what ways do your own behaviors resemble those of an angry child?


2.4.2 Playing The Hostile Game


Using your past experiences, identify very specific ways you have played the hostile game on the ATTACKER'S TURF, and by the attacker's rules. What happened? What would you do differently?

Want to see the sample answers for these Defusing Hostile Customers Exercises? Click here.