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Dealing with Difficult Customers Training

dealing with difficult customers course

Service Survival: Handling Demanding and Difficult Customers

Course Outcomes

This course focused on serving difficult and demanding customers will:

  • Explain why customers get upset.
  • Outline the rapport-building process.
  • Provide participants with tools and language for interacting with upset customers.
  • Offer several models for improving listening and working through service problems.
  • Provide suggestions for managing service stress.

Available Formats

  • Conference Breakout
  • Half-Day Course
  • One-Day Course
  • Webinar

Course Overview

Serving happy customers is enjoyable for those in a service role.  Helping those who are “not so happy” can be stressful, demotivating, and costly to an organization if members of the service staff have not received training as to how to best handle demanding customers and difficult situations.  This dynamic program teaches participants how to build rapport, communicate with different types of people, choose words that say “professional, polished, and in control,” de-escalate tense conversations, and manage daily stress.

Program Objectives

At this program's conclusion, participants should be able to:

  • Explain why their customers get upset.
  • Quickly build rapport with customers.
  • Explain and adapt to different communication styles.
  • Choose appropriate language.
  • Listen and indicate they have heard what their customers have said.
  • Communicate with unreasonable customers.
  • Develop a personal action plan to improve customer-service skills.

The following outline highlights some of the course's key learning points. As part of your training program, we will modify content as needed to meet your business objectives. Upon request, we will provide you with a copy of the participant materials prior to the session(s).

Workshop Outline

Sharks in the Tank: Understanding Why Some Customers Are Demanding
While some people are genuinely more difficult to please than others, often difficult customers don't start out being exhausting to manage. Rather, a series of events has led to their current state. This opening discussion reviews the most common reasons customers become upset, demanding, and hard to satisfy. During this segment, the group will review the warning signs indicating a change in attitude and actions they can take to prevent problems from worsening.
The Right PH: Building Rapport
"Like likes like." In other words, people like people who are like them. During this part of the workshop, participants will learn how they unconsciously communicate to others using their own preferences rather than their customers' likes and dislikes. Through case studies and role playing, the group will practice techniques to help them minimize the communication differences between themselves and their customers.
The Other Fish: Understanding Different Communication Styles
Building on the previous module, this segment examines communication styles. Using the Communication Jungle® assessment tool, participants will first learn about their communication style preferences. Next, the group will reflect on and explain how their types typically communicate. They will also identify the styles they find more challenging and how they can adapt to each.
The Filter: Keeping the Gunk Out of the Relationship
Most of us know a slip of the tongue can muddy the water. However, when dealing with challenging customers, it's easy to say the wrong words if the right ones are not readily available. This part of the program focuses on the word choice, trigger phrases, and how to sound professional and calm no matter what the situation.
Catfish, Snails, and Crabs: Dealing with Unreasonable Customers
While most difficult customers are difficult for a reason, there are a few that despite our best efforts to help, simply cannot be satisfied. This portion of the course addresses customers who attempt to take advantage of the serving organization, customers who refuse to accept stated rules, laws, and procedures, and others who will not accept available solutions.
Just Keep Swimming!: Managing Stress
Dealing with demanding customers can be draining regardless of the provider's ability to handle the most difficult situations. This program concludes with a review of stress-management techniques and action planning.

 At the program's end, participants will have experience with a range of tools for managing expectations, communicating bad news, addressing complaints, and managing the stress associated with difficult customer interactions.

Questions This Page Answers About Customer Service Training for People Dealing with Difficult Customers

  • Where can I find an onsite course addressing techniques and skills for working with difficult customers?
  • Who offers a webinar covering skills for managing demanding customers?
  • What is typically covered during a customer service workshop targeted to those handling challenging environments, customers, and clients.