Handling Difficult Customers

It’s happened to every customer service rep. They answer the phone or say hello and the customer seems angry or upset right from the start. It’s easy to fall into the trap of taking things personally and becoming defensive or angry.

In the training guide, Handling Difficult Customers, the authors take readers through seven steps to transform a dissatisfied customer into a satisfied, loyal, long-term customer who knows your organization can be counted on. The first step is “Let the customer vent.”

“In most cases, customers who are difficult just want to let off some steam,” say the authors. “They want to get their dissatisfaction or a perceived slight off their chests, and they want someone to listen and acknowledge them.”

Moving too quickly into problem-solving and failing to give customers a chance to express their feelings is likely to backfire. Some customers will blow off steam in 15 seconds and others will take five minutes. Give them the time they need to work through their frustration.

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