Young woman discontent with goods at shopping mall

Customer Service: Dealing with Difficult Customers

Remember the saying “The customer is always right”? While this may be true, it doesn’t mean that all customers are easy to deal with. In fact, some customers are really unruly. However, if you want to stay in the business industry, you have to know how to deal with difficult customers accordingly. Here are some tips on how you can still give difficult customers the best service.


When you are faced with an unruly customer, do not try to talk over them or worse, argue with them. It’s the right of customers to say what they want, no matter the manner. Even if what they’re saying might make no sense, it’s important that they know you are listening to them.


Always put yourself in your customer’s shoes. Listening is one way to show you’re empathizing with your customer. Understand their position and situation, and let them know that you are acknowledging their frustrations. When your customer sees that you are willing to address their concerns, this helps them to calm down. Agreeing shouldn’t just be done by nodding your head, you should verbally express that you understand what they’re saying or where they’re coming from.

Speak calmly

When the customer speaks louder, you should speak more slowly, and in a lower tone. If you face an upset person with calm and ease, this also helps them to calm down. If your customer sees that you are unaffected by his or her tone or volume, his or her anger will lessen at some point. Just be careful not to appear uninterested.

Consider other customers

Even if you are talking to just one customer, think about how an audience is watching the interaction. This will even work better if a customer is being verbally abusive. It will help you think more clearly when responding. Whatever response you will be giving to an irate customer will surely be spread around to other customers. If you, however, handle things calmly, at least you know you’ve done your best to address concerns in a calm and professional manner.

Don’t get upset or angry

If a customer gets verbally abusive, don’t dwell on the negative words. Take a deep breath, and continue to keep your calm. If you respond in kind, it will definitely do you no good. Remember that you are in the business side, not the consumer side. Don’t take anything personally. Remind the customer that you are doing your best to help them resolve the situation.

Do your part

Listening to a customer’s rants has no bearing unless you act on it. Assure the customer that you will call them back, if necessary. Even if you have no update yet, call the customer at the time you promised to do so. Let your customer know what’s happening, and what will happen – customers like it when they’re not left in the dark about their situation.