Dealing with difficult situations and passengers

We all deal with difficult situations throughout the day

SITUATIONS YOU MAY FIND YOURSELF IN

  • You have arrived at your passenger's destination when they suddenly leap from the vehicle and start running away without paying the fare.
    • What to do: Remain in the taxi and let them go and report the passenger’s behaviour to the police.
    • What NOT to do: Get out of the taxi and chase after them or Remain in the taxi and chase after them.
  • You have arrived at your passenger's destination. When you advise them of the fare, they try to hit you.
    • What to do: Press your emergency button, allow the passenger to leave the vehicle and report the passenger’s behaviour to the police.
    • What NOT to do: Lock the doors so the passenger cannot run away or physically restrain them and call the police.
  • A passenger tells you that they cannot pay the fare when they arrive at their destination.
    • What to do: Organise a time for you to return and collect the money for the fare. Let them out and report them to the police, if the passenger refuses to make payment at a later date.
    • What NOT to do: Offer to waive the fare if the passenger agrees to pay you in another way or Lock the passenger in the taxi and drive to the nearest police station.
  • A passenger starts being racist or starts swearing at you.
    • What to do: Try to remain polite and courteous regardless of what your passenger says. Ignore the comments if you can, as that is often the easiest way to handle the situation. Ask the passenger to stop, which you are within your rights to do. If they refuse to stop, you can refuse to continue to drive them. Report the passenger’s behaviour to the police.
    • What NOT to do: Use offensive language when responding to the passenger or Lock the passenger in the taxi and drive to the nearest police station.

Dealing with difficult passengers

  • Master the art of listening. This is really hard, especially if you take offense quite easily. However, people who feel anger often need a way to vent. Although it is quite unlucky that they had to vent it out on you, the storm will pass once they have let it all out. Just listen and wait it out.
  • Respond in a different manner. It is human nature to respond the same way you are being treated. However, this does not work when dealing with an irate customer. Responding in anger will only add fuel to the flame, and would make matters worse. Respond in a calm manner and your passenger will eventually realize that they’ve been wasting energy on what could be a trivial matter.
  • Don’t take it personally. It’s your passenger’s bad day, not yours. Your passenger may be mad at the company you work for, the way you drive, or someone else. At the end of the day, their anger should not change the way your day is going. Let them choose anger and continue having a bad day. Just drown it all out. After all, you’ll only meet this person once. And that’s a really short time to know someone to let them affect you in a huge way.
  • Apologise and sympathise. Sometimes, a passenger only wants to hear some sort of affirmation from someone else. The best way to do this is to apologize and sympathize with the customer, even if it’s not your fault. This may be all that your passenger needs to calm down.
  • Breathe in, breathe out. Once the passenger completes their trip, take a breather of your own. All those minutes of trying to be nice to a person who’s being difficult will definitely take its toll, and you might end up passing the hostility off to your next passenger. Breathe in and out and start driving once you believe you’ve let it go.

Dealing with an irate passenger is not that easy, but it’s not impossible.  Applying these tips can go a long way to helping you manage your stress and to ensuring you continue to provide great service to all passengers.