Skillset New Zealand Blog

Ideas to help your team develop personally and professionally.

Have you ever seized up when confronted by an angry customer?

Here’s what’s happening. You perceive the angry person as threatening so your brain and body collude to turn on the fight or flight response.

In pre-historic days, if you had been confronted with a significant threat, survival dictated that you would run away or fight your way out of the situation.

Unfortunately your evolutionary instincts and professional etiqutette for dealing with customers in modern times are in conflict.

Techniques to help you assist an angry customer

If you want to recover more quickly from the adrenalin hit, try these techniques:

  • relax your shoulders
  • exhale - you are probably holding your breath·
  • start talking - use simple encouragers such as “a-ha, hmmm, right, oh dear’.

How using simple 'encouragers' can help you

Encouragers such as “a-ha, hmmm, right, oh dear’ have a dual effect.

They bypass your angry customers' rant by sending their brain the message that you are paying attention and you do care (which helps them to calm down faster).

They also force your brain to redirect oxygen and blood back to your critical speech and thinking centres so that you can deal with the problem more effectively.


Interested in a workshop on customer service for your team?


About Alana Billingham

Alana Billingham

Alana is Skillset's managing director and has been with the company for more than 20 years.

She takes workshops on a wide range of topics and is at the leading edge in the world in teaching investigative interviewing.

Some of Alana's negotiation clients negotiate multi-million dollar deals. Others just need to sort out arrangements with their suppliers.

Alana has attended a master class on investigative interviewing the UK and keeps in touch with her classmates.


Interested in training in leading virtual teams?

We’ll show your leaders how to keep your virtual teams motivated and productive.

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Interested in training in investigative interviewing?

We’ll help your investigators use some simple techniques to uncover the useful, accurate information they need.

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Interested in training in negotiation?

We’ll show your negotiators a method used around the world in negotiations big and small. It’s very different from adversarial bargaining or mere compromise.

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