Not only is it critical to success, but it's one of the harder things to learn if you work in customer service. When you allow your buttons to get pushed, your reactions will end up conveyed to the customer via anger or defensiveness, and that will affect the outcome.
That's one reason we've included a principle on self-control within the CARP system.
Perhaps the very worst thing you can do with a hostile person is to lose control over your own emotions. When you allow yourself to get angry and respond aggressively, you are going to have an argument or a physical confrontation. If you get angry and make a snarky remark, or use hostile body language, you will simply provoke the person to continue.
Bet You Didn’t Know About The Attention Paradox
Remember this: What you pay attention to, or focus upon, you get more of. Focus on how idiotic the customer
is, and you’ll probably get more of the same. Focus on his negative comments, and again, you’ll get more.
What we stress here is that while you are allowed to be angry or upset with a customer, you are not allowed to “take it out” on that customer. It isn’t so much an issue of what’s right or what’s wrong ... it’s a very practical issue. Allow yourself to get your buttons pushed, and you are letting yourself in for a string of hassles that you don’t need.
Normally, when we talk about self-control, we talk about anger control, but there is another issue. Hostile people don’t
just do things that contribute to your anger. They also do things that are intimidating. Self-control also involves learning
how to control your behavior when someone tries to intimidate you.
It is absolutely essential that you pay attention to controlling your own reactions. You may not be able to completely control your own anger, but at least you can make sure that you don’t communicate your anger in ways that will make the situation worse.