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Dealing with difficult customers

Featured in the Excellent Customer Service training manual

By Susan Iacovou & Caroline Clemie

Category: Customer Service

Credit price: 4 download credits (Single user)

We all have customers, whether internal or external to our organisation, and these customers look to us to provide them with good customer service. In a busy service environment, not all these customers will be happy with what we offer them. In fact, there will be days when it seems that all our customers are awkward ones. When you are trying to cope with a heavy workload, technical problems, staff shortages or even just the impact of a late night the day before, it can be hard to cope with customers who are demanding and difficult to please. This training resource looks at the types of difficult customers team members may come across, and gives them a model for dealing with such customers.

You introduce the unit by talking about the need for the team to view difficult customers as a challenge rather than a threat. The team discuss occasions when they themselves have been difficult customers, and you work with them to identify the kinds of things that cause customers to become difficult. Next, the team split into two groups to determine the types of difficult customers they have to deal with and discuss the strategies they use to try to deal with such people. You discuss their conclusions with them and highlight six key customer types, together with ways not to handle them. The team are introduced to a four-stage process for dealing with difficult customers listen, clarify, summarise and commit and given a chance to practise applying the process to a difficult customer they have recently encountered.

Who is it for: This training resource is intended for use by trainers to help participants learn how to deal with problem or difficult customers.

Resource Type:Activity
Min Group Size:4
Max Group Size:20
Typical Duration:03:00:00
No of Pages:34

Resources: View standard resources for Fenman training activities

Purpose: This training resource is intended for use by trainers as a stand-alone training resource with teams who are facing the challenge of dealing with particularly demanding or difficult customers on a regular basis

Download the training activity, Dealing with difficult customers as featured in the Fenman training manual; Excellent Customer Service