waitress with mask

Are you their next difficult customer?


As we move into the next stage of unlocking lockdown our shops, attractions, restaurants and bars are opening up. And I’ve spent more time over the past few weeks talking to clients and prospects about updating staff training as they are going to need to be welcoming, friendly but firm, handle queues and still provide great customer service.  

However, it’s not just down to them.

We as customers, are going to have to work hard too.

For many of us we will be venturing out more but with a feeling of trepidation and anxiety on trips, that until recently, were no more than mundane.

What comes with this feeling of fear is our fight or flight response. And this means that without thought, we can become those difficult customers that others talk about. When queuing for the supermarket I have seen angry exchanges, unacceptable behaviour towards staff and very short tempers. These are all signs that your brain is reacting to the fear without the benefit of cognitive thought.

These behaviours are going to make others more fearful and respond with more aggression, something that nobody wants from a masked individual (whatever the reason for the mask).

So, my top tips are:

  • Acknowledge that the trip may be more stressful than normal, then you will be less surprised by any feelings of fear.
  • Remember, every new rule or inconvenience has been created to make you and the staff safer. It may not always work for you but no one has done it just to wind you up!
  • Smile at everyone particularly when wearing a mask. Make sure you are thinking of something that makes you happy; otherwise your smile won’t reach your eyes … and that’s the only way they will know you are smiling.
  • If someone or something upsets you, breath and count to 10. The result of this is that you give your conscious brain a chance to override your immediate reaction of fight or flight.
  • Accept that your trip out is going to be different … not right or wrong but different. And different is OK!

Anyone else got a good suggestion of add to my list? Feel free to add them below!

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