The wonderful thing about our fears of customer service situations and difficult customers is that it’s entirely up to us to decide how to look at it.

Every time we face a difficult customer or situation we can choose to look for the opportunity to grow, or succumb to fear and fail to act. Each fearful situation is an opportunity, if we allow it to be one. It can a terrifying, humbling, hilarious and enlightening process.

Customer Service Fears

There are two basic motivating forces: fear and love. When we are afraid, we pull back from life. When we are in love, we open to all that life has to offer with passion, excitement, and acceptance.

-John Lennon

I’d like to encourage you to notice your fears when they arise; spend some time thinking about your fears and what fear means to you. It takes real courage to face each day of customer service work.

I must not fear. Fear is the mind-killer. I will face my fear. I will permit it to pass over me and through me. And when it has gone past I will turn the inner eye to see its path. Where the fear has gone there will be nothing. Only I will remain.

-Paul Atreides, Dune

What amazing thing could you do today if it weren’t for your fears holding you back? Think of the amazing opportunities to excel and distinguish yourself form the crowd by facing your fears and taking the step forward anyway. Felix Baumgartner faced his fears, but saw an opportunity in it by breaking the skydiving record and jumping from outer space.

  • Do fears keep you from achieving, making you feel like you’re always stuck?
  • Do your fears keep you from developing new skills, new careers, and new goals?
  • What have you always WANTED to do, but were too AFRAID to?
  • What customer experience advantage could you have if you weren’t afraid of it not working?

Fear begets fear. Power begets power. I willed myself to beget power.
And it wasn’t long before I actually wasn’t afraid.

– Cheryl Strayed, “Wild”

We can build our personal power and overcome fear by:

  • Analyzing all potential situational outcomes.
  • Learning to think more positively about our circumstances.
  • Not expecting the worse-case scenario to take place.
  • Having a contingency plan, just in case.

What are your worst customer service fears? Maybe it’s angry customers. Maybe it’s feeling like your service isn’t appreciated. It may be that management looks down on your service attitude. Hopefully it’s not that you feel like you can’t measure up to your service ideals.

You will at some point in time face an angry customer, and you’ll live to tell about it. Some people may not appreciate your service actions, but many more will. Management now may not appreciate the value of customer service, but future management [possibly at another organization] will and it’s your courage to step out and act that will open up those future opportunities.