If you work in the hospitality industry and haven't encountered a difficult guest before you're either new or very lucky. Dealing with unruly or rude patrons can be a regular occurrence in this industry. While not pleasant, it is something we all need the skills to manage.
Anytime is a good time to brush up on these skills. So how do you deal with aggressive customers? Let's explore a few quick tips.
1. Assess the safety risk
The most important thing to do before dealing with an aggressive customer is to assess the safety risk. Are your other customers in danger? Can you handle the situation on your own or do you need the help of your security staff. Safety should always be your number one priority so assess this before taking any concrete action.
2. Ask, tell, report
When a customer starts raising their voice or acting aggressively, there are tried and true steps to diffuse the situation and minimise further conflict. These are skills that can be learned that enable you to take control of the situation and ensure your safety and the safety of others. Remaining professional, speaking in a calm voice, moving the conflict situation away from other patrons and not turning your back on an aggressive customer are just some of the techniques that may be employed.
Never turn your back on an angry customer and ensure you are in clear view of other people to maintain your safety.
3. Record the event
Once the aggressive conflict ends, take some time to cool down and then write down what happened and do a little reflection. What could you have done better in this scenario? What areas of the issue did you handle best? Writing these things down and learning from the experience will help you improve your conflict resolution skills down the line.
Conflict training with Barringtons
Barringtons offers comprehensive conflict training for hospitality employees. We can help your staff deal with difficult people in a more effective manner – resulting in a better outcome for everyone involved. The course will teach you how to:
- Successfully deal with a difficult person
- Follow the steps involved in minimising conflict
- Manage conflict and take control
- Maintain their own safety
- Effectively report the incident
Conflict is a part of working in hospitality, the best thing you can do is prepare for it. To learn more about our course or how to sign up, reach out to one of our Barringtons' trainers today!