difficult customers

How To Handle Difficult Customers


It is common for customer service staff to have to deal with annoying, rude, unreasonable and angry customers. It can leave you wondering what you have done wrong and what could have you done differently.

Kate Shonk from Harvard Law said, “When it comes to learning to deal with difficult people, we are taught that the customer is always right.” But this is not always the case. When dealing with difficult customers, employees need more than just platitudes and apologies. They need effective communication skills and negotiation tools.

Customer service staff need to have a high level of emotional intelligence, self-awareness and conflict resolution tools when dealing with these difficult customers. Things go wrong, and customers react in ways that can be threatening and insulting.

This workshop will give you the skills and tools to deal with these difficult situations effectively. You will learn to stay in control, keep yourself safe and deal with the situation and an effective and positive way.

Course Content

In this workshop, you will learn,

  • How to stay in calm and in control

  • Your triggers and learn strategies to deal with your triggers

  • To understand why some customers react, and understand their psychological needs

  • The common traps that will escalate tensions with difficult customers and how to avoid them

  • To manage customer expectations and set boundaries

  • How to improve your listening and to frame questions

  • How to defuse difficult customers

  • To understand the role of good and destructive nonverbal communication

  • To ensure that safety comes first

This workshop focuses on the skills of managing customers who are difficult to handle, regardless of who is right or wrong. A difficult customer handled well can be converted into a loyal customer.

**This workshop can be delivered as an in-house corporate workshop. It will be customised to meet your organisational training needs and the key learning outcomes are set to match your requirements.

Violet Dhu

Violet Dhu is the person I recommend if you are seeking support to increase employee or self-confidence with difficult conversations and overall performance Belinda McPherson, Southern Rural Water

About Violet Dhu

Violet Dhu has over twenty years’ experience in working with individuals and teams to develop effective and confident communication skills.

She is a graduate of the Harvard Law School, Difficult Conversations Project and uses her knowledge and skills as a coach and trainer to challenge teams to overcome their fears and to build accountability into their communication.

Violet shows you how to have confident and effective conversations in your workplaces.