Thomas was a well groomed front-of-house hotel receptionist with 12 years in the industry, working in an up market hotel. He smiled at all the guests and remaining pleasant and professional at all times.
As we stood chatting at his desk I asked if he ever meet angry and upset guests. He discretely checked to see if anyone was listening and then said “about six or more every day!”
“How does this affect you? You seem to be so calm and serene standing here”. I said. “Well sometimes it doesn’t affect me, but mostly it does. On the bad days I know I go home in a very grumpy mood and take it out on my kids and my wife. They know when I have had a lot of distressed guests”.
The manager of that hotel told me later that his front-of-house staff do not get very many upset guests at all because they were a high-quality hotel!
Actually people can be difficult everywhere and managers don’t always see that. There are not too many jobs where there are no difficult people. Sometimes it is hard for a business to admit that it has difficult customers.
It’s best to find out what the truth is and then train people to deal with it openly and directly so that there is real customer service.