Keep Calm – and Keep Your Customers

The customer is always right…right?

This is generally the best approach to take if you have a difficult or unhappy customer because you have far more to lose by taking the low road and stooping to their level of hostility. Conflict is a part of doing business, but how you react while under fire can have a major impact on the future of your customer relationships. Treating someone with disdain or disrespect can reflect negatively on you and your company, so reputation management should also be top of mind.

Here’s some ideas on how to remain calm in a difficult situation.

Keep Your Cool

Treat your customer with professionalism and courtesy. Make sure to always maintain a calm tone while also remaining assertive. Refrain from name calling or finger pointing and don’t say anything that can be used against you.

Do it in Person

Always resolve disputes in person or over the phone. Email is not an effective tool for hashing out disagreements.

Show Them You Care

Proactively try to identify the problem and show the customer that you care. Make sure that the customer knows that their issue is important to you. Listen to what they have to say, and be sincere, respectful, and understanding.

Focus on Solutions

Ask questions to gather facts on the problem. Then work with your customer to find a solution that satisfies you both. In fact, ask your customer what they would like you to do to resolve the problem, and see if this can be achieved. The solution should be fair and justifiable for both parties.

Minimise reasons for Complaints

Try not to give your customers too many reasons to complain. People are understanding but they will go to the competition if you continuously offer services or products which do not meet their requirements – or are not up to their standards.


The most important thing when dealing with difficult customers is to remember that they are only human. Listen to them, show that you are willing to provide solutions and go above and beyond to keep them satisfied.

CTO offers Training courses in Handling Difficult People and Situations.

If you think this is an area where you and your team can improve, please contact us on 1300 667 660, to find out how we can run a course for you this month.