Expressions of anger from customers are not necessarily verbally abusive. If you work in customer service, you need to accept that anger is a normal human reaction, and whether you agree with the customer's reasons or not, they have a "right" to their anger.
However, they don't have the right to be verbally abusive.
Verbal Abuse Characteristics
Verbal abuse takes many forms, from very subtle, to the more obvious, “in your face” behaviors. When we talk about verbal abuse we include the following:
- Persistent swearing
- Sexist comments (both explicit and implied)
- Racist comments (both explicit and implied)
- Irrelevant personal remarks (e.g. about your appearance)
- Threats (e.g. I’ll have you fired)
- Intimidating silence
- Accusations of various sorts (e.g. calling you a racist)
- Comments about your competency, knowledge, dedication
These behaviors are intended to demean and control. As you go through this book, you will learn some ways to counter-control in the face of verbal abuse.