6 reasons why customers yell at business owners, customer service reps, and sales clerks

6 reasons why customers yell at business owners, customer service reps, and sales clerks

 I think my favorite episode of Seinfeld (aside from the one where Elaine hates the movie The English Patient) is the one where Seinfeld is trying to rent a car he’s reserved. While he made a reservation for a mid-size car, the rental agency had only a compact car. His unproductive- but funny – encounter with the rental agent is classic and is in the video right here.

Okay, so he isn’t exactly yelling, but he is obviously upset. I encountered a situation just today at a neighbors who was trying to fire a pest control company because they failed to control pests, repeatedly failed to return phone calls, and showed up at her house even when the company had been called and told not to come any more.

We’ve all been yelled at, most of us have yelled at someone else. The question is why?

 began to ponder why it is that customers yell at business owners, customer service reps, and sales clerks.  I came up with six reasons.

  1. They know they’re being bamboozled. Some business people try to pull one over on their customers and some of those customers are too smart. They know they’re being schmoozed and react with loud noises.
  2. They’ve tried to communicate normally but they’re not being listened to. We could actually be bringing this on ourselves. When someone fails to respond most people turn up the volume. When customers are treated as equals, when we keep communication flowing, the chances that volume will increase decreases. This is what happened at the incident this morning. Often, the uncommunicative party will respond by saying that “You don’t have to yell.” But apparently they do. Unresponsive people actually train others to yell at them because they won’t respond until someone yells.
  3. They’ve been shorted, slighted, neglected, or mistreated. Frustration builds to the breaking point causing the shorted, slighted, neglected, or mistreated one to explode.
  4. They’re just ornery, short-tempered, cantankerous, or rude people. It may not be your fault. You as a customer service person, sales clerk, or business owner might be doing everything right and you get yelled at anyway. Why? Because there is just no pleasing some people.
  5. It’s a bad day. Even nice people occasionally show a more antagonistic side because things are just not going to well.
  6. They’re in the wrong but trying to change the outcome anyway. If someone can’t win by rationed argument, they might attempt to win by bluster.

That’s my 6 reasons. What are yours?

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