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Tips & Co. #372 - Use the polite repetition technique

When the customer is angry, it is sometimes difficult for us to calm them down. In these situations, the polite repetition technique proves effective and helps the customer redirect towards working on solving problems rather than focusing on negative emotions.

The technique involves calmly repeating what you just said and repeating it again until the customer understands. You must not raise your voice or defend yourself, as you must keep your tone level neutraland polite.

For example:

  • Customer: “Your service is horrible. I sent the form and I never heard back from you.”
  • You: “When did you send the form, Mr. Smith?”
  • Customer: “I have waited long enough, I have no patience left.”
  • You: “When did you send the form, Mr. Smith?”
  • Customer: “You would not last two minutes in the private sector with service like this”
  • You: “Mr. Smith, I need to know when you sent the form so that I can help you.”

Polite repetition can also be used when customers are not accepting your answer. They may believe that they may make you change your mind by continuing to insist or that they will get you to work around the rules for them. The polite repetition then lets the customer know that your answer is firm.

In the long run, the customer will understand and accept your answer.

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