How Can Employers Deal with Threatening Customers?

Tuesday, September 5, 2023

David Barron was quoted in SHRM discussing how managers can help employees when dealing with an angry customer. "Dealing with a threatening customer or client is a challenge, especially in the modern environment where there is a concern that escalation will lead to actual violence. Modern society has become decidedly less civil, and in many locations, employees work in fear of not only harassment but violence in the workplace. Employers have a duty to protect employees and should act responsibly, including providing adequate training and security," said David. "Once employees alert their supervisors to a threatening customer, the supervisors should attempt to divert the customer to a member of management, move the altercation away from other customers and attempt to de-escalate the situation, remove the customer from the workplace if possible, or call security or law enforcement as appropriate," he said. "Some common mistakes in this area include engaging with the customer and prolonging the confrontation. The goal should be to de-escalate and remove the customer. If that is not immediately possible, assume the worst and call for law enforcement," he said. 

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