Thriving Under Fire Blog

Angry customers - the unseen hazard

Posted by John Faisandier on Nov 24, 2017 1:17:46 PM

 On Monday 1st September 2014 an extremely distressed client walked into the Work and Income office in Ashburton, New Zealand, and shot two of the front line workers. 

All the staff at that office were working under stress and the client was even more stressed. None of them had the skills to manage his anger over time until he finally cracked and the results were tragic. While the harm done in this situation was clearly visible and extreme, there are many workplaces where the damage from stress is not so obvious, but can be nearly as destructive.

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Topics: Health and Safety Stress, Emotions at work, interpersonal communication, Healthe and Safety at Work Act 2015, emotional intelligence training, Health and Safety at Work Act, Workplace stress, Dealing with stress at work, customer service, Fight/flight response, Effects of stress, Workplace hazards, Stress at work, Hidden stressors, Angry customers

Improve your Emotional Intelligence

Posted by John Faisandier on Oct 4, 2016 1:59:38 PM

Emotional Intelligence (EQ) a concept first coined by Daniel Goleman, can be learnt and improved.

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Topics: customer service, Emotional intelligence, Physical Reactions, Upset People, Difficult Conversations, Difficult customers, Emotions, Self-Care

Say 'NO' to zero tolerance in customer service

Posted by John Faisandier on Oct 4, 2016 1:56:27 PM

In a recent review of the TUF Online Training program the writer was pleased that I did not advocate zero tolerance: not letting customers swear or show any kind of aggression. Organisations with a zero tolerance policy towards customers tell people not to swear. If the customer persists in swearing they terminate the call or stop serving them and ask them to leave the premises.

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Topics: customer service, Upset People, Difficult customers, Emotions

Computers can't do customer service...

Posted by John Faisandier on Jun 22, 2015 2:04:24 PM
Computers just don't get it!
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Topics: customer service, Acknowledge Feelings, Emotion, Physical Reactions, Upset People, Difficult customers, Emotions, Listening

Valentine's Day 2013

Posted by John Faisandier on Mar 24, 2014 2:11:18 PM

Whatever you may think about Valentine’s Day there is a degree of excitement around. I heard people renewing their vows to their partners on the radio this morning. People give red roses, chocolates, special meals and many other signs of their love today.
Anything that get’s people to relate better to each other is good in my book. Building positive relationships needs to be worked at. Just as with a loving relationship you need to say and do things to let the other person know they are loved, respected and valued.

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Topics: customer service, Acknowledge Feelings, Emotion, Conversations, Difficult People, Emotions, Life Positions, Perspective, Relationships

Weak apologies are poor customer service

Posted by John Faisandier on Mar 24, 2014 1:31:52 PM

A story in the Dominion Post this morning (February 4, 2013) sparked my interest. It is fifty years since a young man, high on alcohol and tranquilizers shot two policemen in cold blood.
He served over 11 years in jail and another 10 years on probation and has since lived a productive life, it would appear. He is now 77 year old with children and grandchildren. I have no quibble about his punishment and am delighted that he has done well with his life.

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Topics: customer service, Crucial Conversations, Emotion, Conflict Resolution, Difficult Conversations, Grief, Relationships, Thriving Under Fire

Bad customer service stories

Posted by John Faisandier on Mar 24, 2014 1:16:28 PM

The supplement in last weekend’s Dom Post in Wellington (Saturday 26 January 2013) had a feature about the terrible customers that turn up in hospitality settings and the often equally nasty things some workers do to get back at them. It was a story full of horror and negativity.
People who work in customer service, especially in hospitality can get jaded. Customers can be very difficult especially if they are affected by alcohol in bars and restaurants or highly anxious such as when travelling.

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Topics: customer service, Attitude, Emotion, Debriefing, Difficult customers, Listening, Reactions, Self-Care

Hearing the unspoken request

Posted by John Faisandier on Mar 24, 2014 1:04:45 PM

Another missed moment at the luxury resort which said they were ‘all about YOU” 
The housekeeping staff were very friendly and pleasant of course. When my wife mentioned to the cleaner that there were bits of white fluff on the carpet from something we had dropped she replied "Don't worry, I'll give it a good vacuum when you go".

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Topics: customer service, Emotion, Upset People, Listening

It's all about YOU - the customer, Yeah Right!

Posted by John Faisandier on Mar 24, 2014 12:39:45 PM

I recently stayed at a luxury resort as a birthday gift from my family. It was a lovely place and we had a relaxing time except for one thing that I was struck by.
Their by-line was "We're all about YOU". Great I thought, I will be looked after here.

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Topics: customer service, Acknowledge Feelings, Emotion, Upset People, Listening, Reactions

Empathy stronger than gun law reform

Posted by John Faisandier on Mar 24, 2014 12:35:14 PM

Adam Lanza the gunman who caused such carnage in Newtown Connecticut was a loner. It was difficult for people to show him empathy and difficult for him to receive it. But that is what he needed most from the ordinary people around him.
While changing the gun laws will restrict access to these lethal weapons and may reduce the number of incidents of shootings in America, changing the way we show empathy is a more sustainable way to change the hearts and minds of others and make the world a safe and peaceful place.

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Topics: customer service, Crucial Conversations, Emotion, High School Shootings, Physical Reactions, sensitivity, Difficult People, Empathy, Listening, Relationships

Managing Emotions

Learn to deal with difficult customers, colleagues, family and friends

You probably didn't learn these skills at home, and I bet school wasn't much help either. You can develop the skills and understanding to manage the everyday emotional communication challenges through the regular postings on this blog. 

You can:

  • Access free tips to help you
  • Change the way you interact with people
  • Learn to stay calm and in control
  • Build more satisfying relationship
  • Be more relaxed in yourself
  • Enjoy your work more

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