Customer Service & Preventing WPV

by todaystrainingblog

August 13, 2013

Customer Service & Preventing WPV


                You’re asking one major question at this point. What in the world does customer service have to do with WPV? Customer service has many facets to it, much like WPV, and therefore the service you provide, or don’t, can be the spark that ignites a firestorm.

                Every business has both internal and external customers. And how you treat them can have an impact on if you’ll have an incident within your business. Again there are many kinds of workplace violence that you simply can’t prevent. And having a customer perpetrate an incident against an employee may or may not be preventable, but why would you take the chance?

                Customer service has been a huge bug-a-boo for years for businesses. Mostly it concentrated on external customers. But you have to give as much attention to your internal customers as well.

                So what do you have to consider and think about in connecting WPV and customer service? Here is just a few slight tips for you and your management staff (not to mention employees);

Internal Customers

                These are the people that work with you every day. Whether they are in your business or not. Whether you are the sole proprietor or have hundreds of employees. If you look at it in a broad perspective then you’ll know who your internal customers are.

                If you are a large company and have many departments, then every single department that you work or deal with is a customer. Take for example in a manufacturing plant you have at least 10 departments working there or maybe in an off-site location. Shipping & receiving, manufacturing (and if you make different products, each product line), quality control, management, support staff (mainly the office), maintenance, sales, security, housekeeping/janitorial, and etc. And these are just a few of what you have.


External Customers

                This may be a little easier to think of, but not as easy to distinguish at times. This is mainly because some of your external customers can also be internal customers. People such as delivery or other support personnel. Contracted janitorial or security people. They may be an external provider/customer, but they work at your company on a regular basis becoming an internal customer as well.


                Every day you go to work you have, at a minimum, 5 different sets of customers you deal or interact with. That’s right 5. Do you know who they are? They are very simple and easy to illustrate.


But over and above the 5 sets, there are attitudes that your employees utilize, whether by habit or by training that can also affect customers/co-workers to commit violence. And these are above the attitudes that companies have towards their employees. Not a single one of them is good and unfortunately you run into them far too frequently in the business world today.

  • Do I Look Like I Care?
  • Lint On The Shoulder
  • South Pole
  • Doh!
  • I, Robot
  • By The Book
  • Exercise Time

                        These are by no means the only things that need to be taught, not doing of course, and thought about when it comes to customer service to both internal and external customers. But it is a start. Most training programs in companies don’t go far enough in teaching customer service and then they won’t empower their employees to solve problems – and sometimes it’s justified.

            But you have to keep in mind that if someone is ‘on the edge’ and ready to go postal, then a bad customer service relationship may push them over. And it doesn’t matter if it is co-workers or actual outside customers. They can all react violently if that case.

            This is an excerpt from the chapter on customer service from my forth coming book ‘One is too Many: Recognizing & Preventing Workplace Violence’


            Want to know more about customer service and how it can help to prevent an incident of WPV? Call us at 480-251-5197 or look at our website