If you’ve worked in customer services anywhere then you’ll understand how stressful it can be when a customer isn’t very pleasant. The mantra goes “the customer is always right”, but when the customer is actually very clearly in the wrong, how do you deal with them graciously?
Well, this woman working at the check-in counter for Southwest Airlines seemed to know exactly how to handle one angry customer. The story is allegedly fictional, but it still shows a smart way to deal with difficult customers. Her response put the man in his place and had me chuckling with delight at her perfect reaction.
A crowded Southwest Airlines flight was canceled due to unsafe weather. A single agent was re-booking a long line of inconvenienced travelers.
Suddenly, an angry passenger pushed his way to the head of the line. He slapped his ticket on the counter and said, “I HAVE to be on this flight and it has to be FIRST CLASS.”
The agent replied, “I’m sorry, sir. I’ll be happy to try to help you, but I’ve got to help these folks first, and then I’m sure we’ll be able to work something out.”
The passenger was unimpressed.
He asked loudly so that the passengers behind him could hear, “DO YOU HAVE ANY IDEA WHO I AM?”
Without hesitating, the agent smiled and grabbed her public address microphone.
“May I have your attention, please?” she began. (Her voice heard clearly throughout the terminal), “We have a passenger here at Gate 14 WHO DOES NOT KNOW WHO HE IS. If anyone can help him with his identity, please come to Gate 14.”
With the folks behind him in line laughing hysterically, the man glared at the Southwest Airlines agent, gritted his teeth, and said, “Screw you!”
Without flinching, she smiled and said, “I’m sorry, sir. You’ll have to get in line for that, too.”
If this isn’t the perfect way to deal with an aggressive customer then I don’t know what is. She managed to keep her cool perfectly and embarrass him enough to make him see the error of his ways. She should get a pay rise for this!