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Dealing with Difficult and Rude Customers

Updated on November 22, 2012


After years of working in a customer service role, where on a day to day basis I come in to contact with difficult and rude customers, I have learnt certain strategies on how to best deal with this situation. In this article I list some of the ways and the steps that you can use to best deal with customers like this and hopefully help you in your job.

Call the Manager !

In my experience the easiest way to handle a difficult customer is to call someone senior to you to deal with the problem. The customer will feel like they are being taken seriously and are more important when they see the manager or supervisor is assisting them, it gets rid of the problem for you and the manager will probably be able to resolve the issue faster.

Treat the Customer with Respect

Ive found that when a customer is yelling at me or abusing me as soon as i start saying yes sir or yes mam or using there first names or surnames, for the most part the calm down a little bit. Using these simple terms shows the customer that you have respect for them and makes them feel valued, its one of the easiest things to do but it can make a big difference.


Show the customer that you are listening to their complaint, look them in the eye, call them by name and try to make them feel important. I often use the words " I understand why you feel this way " and " im sorry this has happend " it means i dont directly take responsibility but will still make the customer happier and make them feel like they've won.

Solve the Problem

The easiest way to avoid all problems with customers is to just solve the problem, if this means giving them something for free or giving them a discount, even if the customer is in the wrong sometimes it better just to do it and end the whole issue. If you cant solve the problem, make sure you dont just fob the customer off to another colleague, if they need to see the manager personally take them to the manager and stay with them until the problem is sovled. You will give the customer a great impression if they see you going out of your way to help them.

Tell Them What You Really Think.

If you can get away with it and the customer is being unreasonable, you should tell them exactly what you think. It will make you feel better and maybe the customer might get some insight into their behaviour. But unfortunately unless you are the owner or the manager most of us dont get this luxury.


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    • profile image

      mrw2222 4 years ago

      Lol, just saw that article. Sometimes customers dont realise there actually talking to person and we have feelings too, but its just part of the job and you have to deal with it.

    • FalconSays profile image

      Karen S. Falcon 4 years ago from Las Vegas, NV

      HA! Did you see the recent news article about the awful tacky customer that wrote in the tip line "stop eating b_ _ _ _" . . google it, it's horrible! I HAVE actually told some people exactly what I think of their nasty attitudes. But then again, we don't really know what kind of day they are having too. Good hub.