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Don’t be prickly with difficult customers!

“I have met some pricks in my time, but you are a f**king cactus”

As a phrase, this is one of our favourites, but this is not a response you should use when dealing with a customer! Sometimes customers are very difficult, or even impossible, to please. Always bear in mind that people have the power to share their opinions of your business on the internet for others to see. Bad news spreads quickly! We’ve written this blog post to give you some useful tips to avoid the wrath of unhappy customers who might decide to go public with their comments.

How to deal with a frustrated, difficult, or angry customer

However good your business is, you will always have a difficult or frustrated customer. It is important to learn how to provide adequate customer service, even to the most challenging people. When dealing with difficult customers, you can use these helpful tips to effectively manage the situation:

  • Be professional in your communication

  • Stay cool, calm and collected

  • Actively listen

  • Let the customer do the talking

  • Look at the situation from the customer’s point of view

  • Assess the customer’s needs

  • Figure out a solution

  • Maintain a positive relationship by assuring the customer that you will resolve their complaint and explain how and when this will happen


Why, you ask? We will go into a bit more detail below. In this blog post, we could have made you read through a whole bunch of content to help improve our SEO, kept you engaged and actively on our website for a few more minutes, but we decided to give you quick tips at the beginning.

Here we go for more details! This should take you around 3 to 4 minutes to read.

Why is it important to effectively deal with difficult customers?

It is very important to deal effectively and efficiently with difficult customers and, most importantly, good customer service can help you retain customers. It's a great way of turning a negative situation into a positive for the customer, who will become a supporter of your brand, product or service because of how you handled their situation and frustrations. These may be the customers who walk away feeling more impressed with you than a regular customer who may not have as much interaction with you.

Types of difficult customers you may encounter

The following are some difficult customers that you may encounter:

There are different ways to deal with each type customer, our best advice is try to think of the situations that may arise for your business and have a plan for you and your staff, should it arise.

The angry customer 😡

An angry customer can be especially challenging. A good first step is to apologise or offer sympathy to the situation, even if you don't feel like you have done something wrong. This simple action could help calm them down so that you can move on to a more productive conversation.

Remember an angry customer may raise their voice, but you should keep your voice calm and soft and never respond with anger (if you are a regular reader of our blogs we try to slip song titles or lyrics in. “Don’t look back in anger” would have been great to insert here).

The indecisive customer 🤔

Indecisive customers may take a long time to make decisions and might ask you many questions. They may seem like they are stupid, but they are not. They want to get all the information to help make up their minds.

You can reassure them by speaking confidently about the subject and sharing as much useful information with them as you can.

I thought I was indecisive, but now I'm not so sure (we're here all week!).

The demanding customer 🤨

You will have to have your wits about you with a demanding customer. They may have a misunderstanding of what you are able to do, or they may command you to do something that you cannot do. You will need to assure them you will do whatever you possibly can to meet their needs, but never promise something you can’t fulfil. Be prepared to offer a reasonable compromise if they are asking for too much. Something that is suitable for both parties.

The critical customer 😤

A critical customer will always find fault in your services, products or something else. They may be quick to point out their dissatisfaction. To manage this customer, you listen to them patiently and understand where they are coming from. Sometimes, these customers offer great feedback through their honesty. Sometimes these customers are just looking for that extra discount or a little bonus they can squeeze out of you.

These four types of customers all have their challenges. Remember to:

  • Always stay calm

  • Take your time to compose your response

  • Try to be in control of the situation

  • Never raise your voice

  • Be confident, never aggressive

  • Be professional

  • Be sympathetic

  • Be reasonable

  • Know and offer a solution, never make it up as you go along

  • Deal with the situation like all your customers are watching you

If there is any way we can help your business please contact us. No hard sell here. Give us a follow on our social channels for other useful information and updates.


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