handling the difficult customer best responses what to say – and what not to say!

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  • Handling the Difficult CustomerBest Responses What to say and what not to say!

  • Two major obstacles in a service professionals job

    Customer problems Angry customers

    These conflicts are a natural part of service.

  • Four Basic Customer ExpectationsTo be listened to

    To be cared for

    To be understood

    To be treated fairly

  • Three Approaches in Dealing with Service ConflictsApproachAggressive - direct/controllingPassive - indirect/submissiveAssertive - direct/working together

    ResultEscalates conflict

    Passes the buck/finger points

    Resolves conflict

  • The Gifts of ConflictInstills personal satisfactionProvides a challengeInspires creativityImproves personal skillsRestores customer goodwillCreates a positive imagefor you and your organization

  • Difficult Personalities Bullies Know it Alls Blamers

  • In Problem Situations, the Customer may:calmly describe the problem and ask for helpbe accusatorybe angry, defiant, demanding, or unreasonable

  • To Hose Down Customer Hostility:remain calm and portray a caring attituderestate the customers concernnever take it as a personal attack

    Remember the Q-Tip Tip:QuitTaking It Personal

  • Acknowledge Problems by:using the complaint as valuable information to solve the problemviewing the complaint as an opportunity to improve serviceremembering mistakes will happen and can result in greater customer respect and cooperation

    Rememberyou cannot please everyone but you can always be professional!

  • Apologizing Pointers

    1. Misunderstandings

    be sincere


    2. Mistakes

    state the


    avoid excuses

    3. Inconveniences

    be timely

    be natural

  • When Customers are Angry, They may Feel:WorriedAbusedStubbornInpatientConfusedIrateDisconnected

  • In Angry Situations:remain cool, calm, and collectedcommunicate positivelybe solution oriented

  • Soothing the Angry CustomerDont take comments/insults personallyremain cool, calm and collectedNever interrupt the customerbe patient and listenEmpathizeStay focused

    Always think before you speak!

  • Seven Responses to Douse the FireLets go over whats happened.Lets get together to talk about this.Lets have someone else hear whats happened.Lets see what we can do to resolve this.Lets hear how you think we should solve this.Lets talk about ways to prevent this from happening again.

    Use Lets to douse the fire!

  • When Youre Fuming:relaxkeep perspectivelower the volumelet goafterwardswork it offnever let them see you sweat or out of control

  • In the Company of Anger:dont join itcalm downshow compassionlisten more than talkdont make it a contest

  • Avoiding Anger Altogether Track your triggers Identify what you can and cannot change, then take action Get healthy Be prepared

  • Coping StrategiesKnow your optionsDont take it personallyAsk non-threatening questionsMake small talkCall for back upRegroup Breath slow and deepMaintain your professionalismEnjoy healthy pleasures

  • Good Planning is the Key!Identify the types of unpleasant situationsDiscuss each scenario Formulate a planRoll play responses Practice

    Be proactive vs. reactive!

  • People who fight fire with fire usually end up with ashes.

    -Abigail van Buren-

  • Situations Requiring Service RecoveryScheduled procedures/appointments that dont begin within a reasonable time.Meals that are delivered cold, late or incorrect.Medications that are not administered on time.Test results that are late or have errors.Rooms that fail to meet cleanliness standards.Any situation that embarrasses, upsets, inconveniences, angers or disappoints a customer.

  • What Not to Say! I cant do anything about itsorry. Youre rightthe service could be better. Youll have to call the supervisor. We are short-handed, and I dont have time right now. Its not my fault. I didnt work that shift. Its just the way we do things here.

  • What to Say!Let me see what I can do for you.I apologize we did not meet your expectations.I am very sorry for the inconvenience let me fix it right away.Thank you for bringing this to my attention.Thats a good question, however, my experience has proven this procedure works better for the patient.

  • What to Say How may I make this better for you? Let me research this, and I will follow- up with you. (be specific on the time)I see your point. This is how I can help.Thank you for letting me know. I will notify the other department as soon as I leave your room.

  • When is the Best Time to do Service Recovery?As soon as possiblewhile the situation is still smoking!

    Dont be afraid to ask for help.

    Learn from your experience.

    Always be the bigger person and take the higher road!

  • Two things you should never compromise?Whats best for the patient.

    Your professional behavior!

  • Remember YOU are

    Patients and Visitors are always listening and watching to see if your words match your behavior!