It just doesn’t matter where you are employed, or the type of business. If you work in a library, or a shoe store, or a lawyer’s office, you have met the customer you can’t get out of your head.
Work in the hospitality industry — hotels and restaurants? There they are. He, or she, since gender has nothing to do with politeness, is the person who is so annoying, rude, unreasonable, demeaning, impatient, and even threatening, that it’s hard to get the person out of your head even after the encounter is long finished.
You wonder. What should have I said? Or, you berate yourself for not “not standing up for yourself” or being too slow to deliver the “killing” verbal insult that would put the offensive person in his or her place. You might even rant and rave about the person on the way home from work, and at the dinner table. Even worse, when the lights go out for the day, and you should be slipping into peaceful slumber, you lie there thinking about how unfair or vicious the customer was. Ouch.
You’ve rented space in your head, to a person who is going to make holes in the walls, and renege on the monthly rent. This head renting freeloader is never going to pay your “stress” bill.
You can legitimately say: If it wasn’t for the customers, I’d really like my job.
This series will help you deal with these customers in a constructive and helpful way that will benefit you in the following ways, provided you use the techniques consistently and properly.
• Shorten the length of time you have to spend with angry, hostile and abusive customers, whether they are in the right or in the wrong. You save time.
• Reduce the intensity of the customer’s anger so that they are less likely to target you, insult you, or even attack you physically and at the same time, you will come across as helpful.
• Feel confident that you can and will control difficult customer interactions and reduce the feelings of confusion (not knowing what to do), and helplessness.
• Convey the impression to your boss and colleagues that you are really good at what you do and in, particular, at keeping your cool in tough circumstances. That means, you are more promotable.
• Enjoy the satisfaction of helping people who start out angry, and end up happy you have been able to help them — the satisfaction of having done an excellent job.
• Stop bringing nasty customers home with you (your spouse will be so pleased), and ensure they don’t sneak into your bed at night (well, thought wise). Learn to put it away when it is time to put it away. Reduce the stress.
The contents of this series are based on my live seminars on defusing difficult customers, and several of my books.
Of course, you can learn defusing customer techniques (and approaches to deliver top quality service) in this Medium series.