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Managing Difficult Customers

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Learn the most effective techniques for remaining calm, professional and always in-control when dealing with even the most difficult customers.

We’ve all heard the saying, “The customer is always right.” But what do we do when the person on the other end of the line is unwilling to accept what you have to say, remains dissatisfied or even becomes abusive? Through ICMI’s Managing Difficult Customers course, you’ll learn valuable strategies for dealing with a variety of difficult customer interactions and take big steps toward managing stress on you, your team members and your customers.

This course begins by helping you identify the three different types of difficult customer contacts and the most appropriate ways you should react to each type. We’ll explore the reasons why customers escalate and how you can handle escalation. We’ll help you hone the invaluable skill of recognizing customer stress and how to respond positively and with empathy in situations when it may be extremely difficult to keep your cool.

ICMI’s Managing Difficult Customers course shows you how and why you should avoid excuses and instead offer positive solutions to unhappy customers through negotiation, fixing or educating. And we’ll help you identify when it’s time to say “no” to a difficult customer.
Through role play exercises and ICMI’s expertly crafted education modules, we’ll give you specific ways to diffuse challenging interactions, even when you cannot grant customer requests.

What you will learn:
  • Who are difficult customers? How to identify the three main types
  • The best ways to deal with unhappy, irritating and abusive customers
  • Finding ways to say “yes” to difficult customers
  • Saying “no” to difficult customers
  • Managing stress: Tips for you, your team and your customers
Course Outline

Module 1 Identify Customer Emotions

Module 2 Use Empathy

  • What is it?
  • Apply empathy with spirit
  • Empathy equation
  • Empathy exercise

Module 3 Handle Abusive Calls

  • Incorporate positive language
  • Positive language exercise
  • Diffuse your stress

Module 4 Problem Solving to Achieve Satisfaction

  • The LIGHT model
  • Example responses using the LIGHT model

If your organization has multiple centers to support 18-24 hour live service across all time zones, how do you schedule agents?

All agent schedule options are represented in all centers regardless of the centers’ time zone.
All agent schedule options are aligned with the centers daylight hours (i.e. an East coast center might schedule agents between 6am – 8pm EST).
A combination: all centers offer all schedule options for 18 of 24 hours and one location covers the 3rd shift.
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