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“How To Control Your Elephant” Training

What the flight safety briefing can teach you about how to deal with an emotional customer

Cabin crew demonstrates “put your own mask on first before helping others” something you can also do in customer service

If you find yourself paying little attention to the flight safety briefing you may be missing out on some excellent customer service advice.

The next time you fly, listen with care to the flight safety briefing

Go on, force yourself…. Put down your phone, Kindle, book, magazine or newspaper and really LISTEN.

Especially to this bit:

“Put your own mask on first before helping others”.

Have you ever wondered why they ask you to do that?

The point is, you’re not programmed to behave like this, especially if you’re travelling with children.

You are instead programmed to put their mask on first. And if you follow this inbuilt and instinctive programming, the chances are that you will lose consciousness before you have saved your child. Because little Johnny is unlikely to wear that mask with any willingness. And then you’ll both be in trouble. Indeed, you could both die. But of course, airlines don't like to be quite so dramatic with their instructions!

And what has this got to do with emotional customers?

Well … when a customer starts getting all emotional in front of you and they start complaining and/or calling you incompetent etc every fibre of your being is instinctively programmed to REACT! In other words, nature wants you to tut, sigh, argue and/or interrupt.

Instead, what you should do is "put your own mask on first" before dealing with that customer.

Thankfully, you don't have to walk around holding a gas cylinder and a facemask to be great at customer service. Taking a simple deep breath will do. This will help you gather your thoughts and suppress the desire to react.

You will in effect be defeating nature.

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