2022 CPMA Annual Conference & Trade Show
Educational Session

When Enough is Enough: Setting Professional Boundaries with Angry Customers

Thursday, September 15, 2022
10:45a - 11:45a
Ballrooms C1 & C2

Cindy Campbell - Senior Training & Development Specialist, International Parking & Mobility Institute

Presentation Track:
Front-Line / Staff Training

Presentation Category: 
Customer Service

Presentation Description:
It’s common to deal with members of the public who believe our organization’s policies and practices are unreasonable - and they don’t mind telling us so. Even with our best efforts to assist or advocate for our customers, there are those who cannot be dissuaded from assuming the worst about our intent. This can make our task more challenging to provide information, explain available options, and help the customer to understand their options. In most situations, we are able to bring the conversation to a successful close, but there are times when the customer has a different end goal in mind. Their response may become overly aggressive or abusive when they perceive they are being personally targeted or encountering an injustice. How should we react when an angry customer’s words or actions go too far – when they respond with personal attacks and aggressively refuse our attempts help? This session will address techniques and strategies intended to help you effectively identify and manage these unacceptable customer interactions while maintaining your professional dignity. Learning Objectives: In this session, we will discuss: Using empathy and personalization; Determining and setting professional boundaries; Identifying when to discontinue the conversation; Documenting the event; Stress management techniques.