I take support phone calls all day. Most of the customers I deal with are nice, but some call and have a bad attitude from the beginning of the call. They are usually angry because they feel my company has wronged them somehow. Naturally, they take it out on me. I understand being angry to a point, but when calling to have a problem solved, anger only gets in the way. If a person calls and continues to yell because they’re pissed off or having a bad day, it only creates a situation where the person helping isn’t going to want to help you for very long. Instead of helping, the goal turns into getting them off the phone. Personally, I’m not going to tolerate being yelled at if I can help it.

I recently helped a woman who was running Windows Vista. The software I support isn’t fully supported under Windows Vista. You can get it to work though. This woman greeted me using my name and though she had been bounced around a lot and was experiencing a difficult time, she stayed cheery and was pleasing to talk to. I spent hours helping her. Contrast that with the guy that called and started swearing at me from the beginning because he had to wait on hold for 15 minutes (it was actually only 5). He was also running Vista, and I chose to leave him with his problem. I could’ve helped him, but I really didn’t want to. I told him to buy Windows XP.

Being nice will help you get what you want. You want the person at the bank to help you get a better rate? Be nice. Want the guy at McDonald’s to not spit in your food? Be nice. Even if the person you are dealing with is being mean, be nice. Being nice motivates people more than being angry.