Rude employees

Topic Views - 2011

Rude employees
Dear all,

I work in a call centre and there is a problem employee who is rude and abusive at times to our clients, symptoms include him raising his voice, pointing out that the client is wrong on some occasions exacerbating the situation, argumentative approach. These are only with problem clients however, he won't just accept their abuse by way of asking them to control their tone, he likes to fight back which is showing very poor complaint handling skills. He has been approached by several managers in both customer services and then on account he accused customer service management of being out to get him, the sales team managers just so we can be clear his behaviour is being considered unacceptable to all. However, he just isn't improving. The other week he said bye to a client after dealing with her appropriately however the client didn't hang up her phone properly, consequently, the advisor just sat there and did nothing for 20 minutes listening to her background noise. HR Management was asked to get legal advice and they said they can only recommend doing an "improvement required" meeting which left my manager livid! Why can't we dismiss him already?

Unfortunately to add to the problem, the company does have an extremely lenient policy towards ill behaviour and error - making staff, to say you have got to do a lot wrong to get fired is an understatement. So he can possibly say we are being unfair if we dismiss him. To make matters worse he used to be a union representatives so management are scared to dismiss him!

An example
Hi Sephia,

Firstly, poor you. It sounds as if you have a weak HR department and are seen to be running scared and he knows it.

My advice is to set up a meeting with his to address to address this. Perhaps play him back some of his calls and ask him if he can see ways in which this exasperated the situation. If he considers this still not be the case, then you have to say that it is not. If you have examples of good calls to from him, that would help.

Perhaps play him so other people who have used different techniques that have not led to confrontation. Ask if he needs the help of training or other seniors on how to deal with things.

Perhaps, you take a few calls and see your technique and let him listen in. Do it to others too so he is not singled out Documents everything and set time periods to improve.

Inform your HR department you are doing this. If this is a general overview of the CC, then training for all is needed. By implementing that, you are setting the standard for all and he may not feel singled out. It can be a long drawn out process but it does reward you in the long term if he has to be taken down the disciplinary route.

Good luck


Call Centre Helper

Seems like he is in the wrong job
Sounds like he may be in the wrong job.

If you cannot dismiss him, can be be transferred into a non customer facing department/ role?

Well we've done all that
There are no other suitable jobs to put him in.

Seriously though where do we stand legally?
Seriously though where do we stand legally?


Call Centre Helper

A policy for dismissing a member of staff
You can't instantly dismiss an underperforming member of staff.

Your HR department is right in that you have to give the individual an ability to correct their performance.

There is a policy on the UK Gov website that shows this.

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