Customer Service
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The Challenge of Dealing With Negative People in Customer Service

November 5, 2014

DifficultCustomersDealing with negative people in the customer service industry, sadly isn’t a few and far between incident. Part of the the perils and challenges of the service industry is coming across people you would rather strangle with a rope or hit with a brick. And yet, being able to deal with difficult people will make you a better salesperson and being able to cope with life.

Firstly, you are required to assess whether the person has a genuine concern or is simply tough to deal with. Most people truly aren’t as bad as we may think we are. I, personally have worked in Retail sales and would never be able to do it again, because I am not patient with people who are rude and unsightly in character. However, in my current line of work, it has helped tremendously because it makes sure that I really listen to the person in front of me and not just “hear” them. The trick to dealing with these type of people, is never to respond in a rude manner no matter how bad things get. Just let someone vent. Let them scream, shout, yell and if you have senior management, get them involved asap because you would rather someone who had more authority, deal with the matter.

If you own your own business and you have rude clients or customers, you are within every inch of your rights to fire them. If someone is making doing business with them, a DifficultCustomersOpportunitiesheadache for you, you can always tell them in polite terms that you do not appreciate the disrespect and would like to cease your contract with them. Customer service is the art of being courteous to the person in front of you, and yet never at your own peril. Working through the customer’s issue really helps, simply because a lot of people instantly calm down when they feel they are being heard and the problem is being resolved.

There are three main ways to deal with difficult customers, effectively.

  • Choose your words, very carefully. Many a time I have heard two people speak and it is not even the problem that is really the issue, it is the tone of voice and choice of word that really gets someone’s back up. Make your language as clear, neutral and concise as possible. Mirror the terms that the customer uses and subliminally, you already have them at ease.
  • Be exceptionally specific and always use measurable. Sometimes and often, even the best of person just wants to re-hash the same stuff over and over again for breakfast, when it has already been eaten, as the phrase goes. Make sure that the client is not spinning you in circles repeatedly by always having a time frame measurable that you implement into the conversation. For example, if a client requires something by next Tuesday, be forthright and ask them that if the situation is resolved by then, does it settle the problem? You will often find a client instantly mellowing to this.
  • Use a visual reminder. Make notes, physical ones at that and make sure they are within reach if a client starts to stray. I used this often in retail. I would get a pen and notepad and the moment the client saw me WRITING the issue down, suddenly they became a lot more aware of what was coming out of their mouth because they knew I would go back and remind them that we had already covered that ground.

Client Services - Our Service Charter.inddKeeping these 3 tips in mind whilst dealing with awkward and difficult clients, will ensure your reputation is spotless and the client leaves happy and satisfied too.

So, how do YOU deal with difficult and negative customers? Do you follow any of the suggestions above? Let us know what your methods are!

Until next time…

~Hospitality Shero


***About the Author***

Nadia Arain is a Spiritually Conscious Entrepreneur who is a partner in dynamic growth for Spas and Salons by using life and spa liberation to catapult your lifestyle from AVERAGE To AMAZING. She is a previous day spa owner, Published Author, Business Mentor and Copywriter, She is the current Founder and CEO of The Spapreneur Consulting and her niche is Marketing and Cash Flow systems to have spa owners live the destiny of their dreams.Her published titles include The 21st Century *Spartanite, Spa Marketing Success and His Commitment Blueprint.

Discover more of her magic for your spa at ,today.


  1. Bishop says

    Great blog. What is my method for dealing with difficult customers you ask? Well, #1, I try my best to remember, it’s nothing personal”. And, #2, remember, difficult customers are not “usually” the norm – that “most” customers are easy. Therefore, if I can just get beyond this particular difficult customer, then, it more than likely, will be some time before my next difficult one. Always remember, there are WAY MORE easier customers than there are difficult ones 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

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