Dealing with difficult customers

Vincent S Collins Sr By Vincent S Collins Sr, 17th May 2013 | Follow this author | RSS Feed
Posted in Wikinut>Business>Leadership

an essay on dealing with difficult customers, written by a customer service professional for customer service professionals.

It takes all kinds

Anyone who works with customers face to face or by telephone will eventually have to deal with difficult customers. They come from all walks of life and from every part of the country, some of their concerns are valid, some of their concerns are not. Some are rude and mean, some are polite and sweet. Some of them are condescending and arrogant others are appreciative and grateful. No matter where they are from or why they are speaking with you, the common element among all these people is that they purchased a product or service from you or your company and that makes them your customer. This entitles them to the best customer service possible, no matter what.

Customer Service is a mindset not a title

I have worked in customer service in some capacity since 1989. I have had the opportunity to be part of organizations that prided themselves on putting their customers first. After years of extensive training and experience, I can honestly say that excellent customer comes from the mindset of the customer service representative and is enhanced by their training. Dealing with difficult customers is a challenge but this challenge can be faced and overcome if you arm yourself with an understanding of a few simple principles.

Remain calm and professional

Some people try to rationalize being emotional and unprofessional when speaking with difficult customers but, there is no rational. In most cases, the reason the customer is upset has nothing to do with the representative. There is no reason to take their negativity personally. If the customer attempts to make it personal, ignore it and be calm and professional.

Listen Actively

You can easily hear the words that someone is saying without really listening. The hardest part of dealing with difficult customers is listening to them “Actively”. Whenever I deal with a difficult customer I make it a point to try to establish what their concern is. I write down key points of their issue to make sure that I address the concern fully. After listening to the customer I restate their concern in my words so that they understand that I understand the issue.

Communicate effectively

After listening to the customers concern; I explain to them that I will do my best to help them. This is a simple but important step in the communication process, I have essentially promised to help them and taken ownership of the situation.

End your encounter on a friendly and professional manner

After addressing the customers concern, make an attempt to be friendly but no matter what be professional.

These guidelines have helped me in the past and I still use them today. I hope that you find them helpful.

Vincent S. Collins Sr.


Customer, Customer Care, Customer Feedback, Customer Satisfaction, Customer Service, Customer-Service, Customs

Meet the author

author avatar Vincent S Collins Sr
I am a student of life, I read and write poetry based on my experiences. I also write short humorous stories based on my experiences and observations.

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author avatar Retired
18th May 2013 (#)

good article. I work in the food industry and I have worked with some purty mean jerks. Don't they know they are in the hospitality business. "the customer is always right" yes true. But only sometimes.. but what can we do? Just suggest. I always wonder why some of my coworkers are in this kind of work if all they do is complain and whine. I hate whine, unless it's accompanied with cheese.

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author avatar Vincent S Collins Sr
19th May 2013 (#)

Thank you Markus

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author avatar cnwriter..carolina
20th May 2013 (#)

I always thank whoever is helping me when they give good service....however if they do not I simply ask them if they like their job and wow does that shake em up!!!!

thank you for this Vlove

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author avatar Vincent S Collins Sr
20th May 2013 (#)

Thank you for your comment cnwriter, I appreciate your feedback.

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