Course Outcomes

This web-based customer service course focused on skills for handling difficult interactions will:

  • Explain why customers can be difficult.
  • Introduce a de-escalation model.
  • Highlight trigger words and phrases.
  • Suggest communication techniques for calming upset customers.

Course Overview

Difficult service situations are something few service providers look forward to addressing. Yet most people working with others will eventually encounter someone who is unhappy for some reason. During this hands-on virtual training course, participants will explore the reasons customers become upset, practice rapport building, discuss communication styles, review trigger words, work through a de-escalation model, and talk about strategies for managing stress.

Note: For people interested in classroom delivery, we offer a similar course called Service Survival: Handling Demanding and Difficult Customers in an onsite instructor-led format.

Program Objectives

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

  • Explain why customers get upset.
  • Quickly build rapport.
  • Adapt to different communication styles.
  • Choose appropriate language.
  • Listen to customers.
  • Communicate with tough customers.
  • Manage stress.

Program Modules

  • Sharks in the Tank: What Makes Service Difficult
  • The Right PH: Rapport Building Techniques
  • The Other Fish: Communication Styles
  • The Filter: Trigger Words and Phrases
  • Catfish, Snail, and Crabs: Difficult People Case Studies
  • Just Keep Swimming: Handling the Hard Days

By the end of this web-based program, participants should have a firm grasp on the fundamental skills they can leverage to de-escalate difficult situations and calm unhappy customers.