by Shane Inglesby, CCE, Geneva Rock Products, Inc.
Nina Flurer, CCE, a regional credit manager with H&E Equipment Services, Inc. presented at the May ICEL meeting. She addressed the topic of how to stop being bullied by bad customers – a topic to which most all credit managers can relate.
Ironically enough, the term bully can be abused (no pun intended). Just because someone engages in behavior that someone does not like or agree with, does not necessarily mean it is abusive. Nina encouraged attendees to incorporate the “reasonable person test.” This test requires asking if most people would consider what the other person is saying or doing to be inappropriate or unacceptable.
Once it has been determined that the actions of a customer are that of a bully, his or her actions will typically fall into one of two categories – explosive or coercive. Explosive behaviors will include threats, fright or harm. Coercive behavior will often times include threats or actual force.
Bullying behavior is typically only experienced when three variables come together: a desperate customer must perceive some type of weakness in an individual and/or organization and that organization or individual must demonstrate evadable policies. Read full article