Monday, August 21, 2023

Handling a Difficult Customer: Attitude

At first glance, handling a difficult customer may seem like a thankless job. Fortunately, you can develop skills to adapt to the challenges difficult customers pose and extend these skills to handling difficult people and situations throughout your life. By improving the focus of your thoughts and feelings, how you manage stress, and how well you listen to and empathize with others, you will be better able to meet the challenges other people pose in both your professional and personal life. 


Keeping a positive mental attitude in the face of difficulty isn’t easy. In fact, our brains seem to be hardwired to focus on the negative as studies have shown. However, many studies have also demonstrated that cultivating an “attitude of gratitude” and engaging in regular exercise and meditation have dramatic effects on our sense of well being. Be grateful, think positively, manage your stress, and take a time-out when needed.

While many of your interactions with customers will be pleasant and positive, you inevitably will have to interact with customers who are difficult in some way. Keep in mind that just as your emotions surface to help you assess a situation, this is also the case for the customer. Regardless of why they are angry or upset, their feelings are valid. Having a clearer understanding of the reasons behind their behavior can help you to resolve their issue. 

Until next time ...


Sheryl Tuchman, SPHR, SHRM-SCP

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