Having a customer x being a customer

If you work, whether as an employee or own business owner, you certainly have an audience for your product or service. What is the profile of this audience? Do you consider your customers very demanding? Ever had to get around a complaint about your product or service?

If you answered yes to the last question, you are not alone. It is not always possible to please all customers, so conflicts are often unavoidable. However, when it comes to customer service, being prepared to deal with different customer profiles is critical. In fact, the ability to interact with people is a premise for those who work with the public. It is possible to develop this ability through training sessions such as Customer Service, Negotiation and Conflict Resolution, Communication and Interpersonal Relationships.

The more we develop and dig deep into these subjects, the more prepared we are to ensure that the interaction with the audience occurs smoothly and, in case of any conflict, it will handle it easily!

However, there is still a small detail to consider: it will only work if we also have a great amount of self-control and emotional intelligence.

Many professionals learn about the most different techniques in customer service but, when facing any conflict situation or a more aggressive customer, end up reacting inappropriately, arguing with the customer our feeling intimidated by him or her.


The other side of the counter

Oh, but it is a mistake to think that self-control or emotional intelligence must be developed only in order to do a good job of serving the public! These very same professionals who serve the customers in their companies are also customers out of their workplaces. And the excuse that "the customer is always right" to justify being aggressive towards another professional who is attending us is nothing more than a lack of emotional intelligence.

When making a valid and pertinent complaint, customers with high emotional management expect a reasonable solution or a polite and meaningful response. It requires to be able to evaluate the position of the company in general, without taking all your personal frustration on a single attendant. Unfortunately, we all know at least one story about someone who felt superior as a customer and was excessively rude to an attendant. Complaining is acceptable. Assaulting is not.

In summary, aggressiveness is not a particular feature of customers or attendants, but of any human being who has trouble managing his/her own emotions. Companies can help their professionals offering training and debates about Emotional Intelligence and Interpersonal Skills. Customers can exercise it through positive reinforcement to the attendants, by congratulating those who serve them well and showing that it pays off to be kind on “both sides of the counter”.

What about you? How are your emotional management skills in the face of a conflict?


You may also help your team develop self-control! Click here and learn more about training on Emotional Intelligence, Interpersonal Relations, Conflict Resolution and Self-awareness offered by Ana Hengist.