If you are observant, you will often have some advance warning that a customer is angry, irate or frustrated. Your MINDSET and your self-talk can work for you or against you in these situations. Here's a self-talk management technique from If It Wasn't For The Customers, I'd Really Like This Job:
Tactic 11: Preparatory self-talk to use prior to interacting with an upset customer
Observing is pretty useless unless you can use that information to prepare yourself for potential difficulties. That’s where additional self talk comes in. When you observe someone you think may turn hostile, try some of the following self talk phrases:
• I can handle this
• I need to make a special effort to defuse
• I will remain calm and cool
What you need to avoid is any negative self talk that will make you less able to deal with the person effectively.
Examples of negative self talk are:
• Oh no
• I hope he/she goes somewhere else
• Is it coffee break time?
• There goes the morning
In addition, when you see an upset person approaching, or hear some indicators that the person is angry, remind yourself that you must start defusing immediately. In the next chapter, we will discuss some tactics for starting off interactions effectively. If you observe, prepare positively, and use these initial techniques you will increase your success rate.