Video Transcript

Hi, it’s David Patmore here from CAL Corporate Solutions.

I just wanted to bring you some quick thoughts around dealing with angry customers when their behaviors are driven by mental illness or substance issues. Dealing with this type of aggression falls under the category of unpredictable, meaning that unlike common aggression triggers, which the warning signs might be easier to identify, this type of customer may be triggered by other factors that stimulate their reactions and behavior. So for example, drugs and alcohol related reactions or certain mental illness that affects behavior and their communication.

By the nature of how some types of customer services are offered, this can be a larger challenge for some versus others. Particularly for those services, which have a greater degree of public access or for those who offer public support services, but this doesn’t dismiss normal goods and services from being exempt on the occasion to this type of thing.

For example, retail. Often when we’re running a skill session for angry customers, people will ask me, “Well, what about those that have mental illness or substance issues, will they respond to these strategies?” And while the answer to that is generally yes and no, depending on the issue and where the team’s current ability is when working together as a collective to display a unified and consistent strategic approach.

one thing is for sure, this can be a real challenge in creating a skill strategy for teams, because the issue can be complex and not straightforward and may require a unique customised approach. So for example, maybe with the type of service that’s being offered or the demographic or the location, it may have a certain concentration in that community and therefore a certain customised approach would need to be worked out.

So how do we deal with this effectively? Well, number one, team strategy versus focusing on individual skills competency. Although individual skills are important, working with this issue, it requires a holistic team approach, and everyone needs to work together to provide the consistency and skill application to display united front. That’s a big key. This also creates a greater degree of team confidence, which goes a long way to reducing the fear and intimidation that can occur with this type of incident.

Consultation approach, number two, and this is really about getting some answers and strategies that are already existing in the skill base of the team. And so by gaining those behavioral examples and collating them into groups of common issues, it’s a really good place to start to know where you need to focus. The last one is collaboration, and really you need to work together to find out what are the most common and most successful ways that those behaviors have previously been dealt with.

And so when we understand that, we can actually make a list of ways that we would call best practice, or if you like, we can do some benchmarking and to make that the standard practice response for those particular issues. The last one is design and deliver. So once you’ve done the consulting and once you’ve done the collaboration, you can come up with a blueprint which essentially maps this all out. And once you’ve done that, it can really focus in on things like demographics or concentration or particular issues or another. And then we’re not talking about building a policy document. We’re talking about a behavioral document that empowers individuals on the team with more tactical strategies to develop a behavioural change and understanding of how to apply their skills.

Lastly, create a skills training strategy to help support the gaps in the team as they transition to a best practice response model. All right. Well, I hope some of those ideas have been helpful and valuable. And I just wanted to say thanks for watching and bye for now.