The 3-Prong Method To Get Customers Who Think They Need a Manager To Calm Down and Let You Help Them

Portrait of business executives talking on headset in office

Let’s say have a customer who right out of the gate demands to talk to a supervisor. You can take the three easy steps I teach in my workshops to keep some customers from escalating.

1. Recognize/Acknowledge

When a customer immediately asks to speak to a supervisor, not wanting to give you a chance to assist, you can Recognize emotions like this.

“I can certainly understand why you’d want to speak to my manager. I want to get to the bottom of this just as much as you do.”

By saying this, or something similar, you acknowledge the customer’s perceived need to talk to someone else.

2. Reframe

Redirect the customer’s perceived need to go over your head by saying something like:

“I’m in this position to fix issues for customers. That’s what I do. Will you give me a chance to see what’s going on and to try to resolve this?”

3. Resolve

If all goes well, you’ll quickly move into the final step and help the customer.
Put together, here’s how the 3R works when customers right away ask to talk to a manager.

“I understand why you’d want to talk to a supervisor. But, my job is to fix problems. Given a chance, I think I can help. Will you let me try first? If I can’t help you, I will transfer you to a supervisor. Fair enough?”

When your customer asks to talk to a supervisor, try the 3 Steps of De-escalation. You might be surprised at how many customers will let you help them.

I pulled this 4-minute video from my De-escalation training so you can have a quick teaching method to share this 3-step method with your team. If you find you need more help with de-escalating, consider my online de-escalation class.