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Managing Difficult Customers

Managing Difficult Customers course tagline
Course Description

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 your and your customers’ stress.

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Course Outline

Module 1: Difficult Customers

  • Three samples of difficult customers, along with characteristics of each
  • Guidelines for handling each type of difficult customer
  • Signs of an unhappy customer along with things to avoid with them and a roadmap for helping them

Module 2: Key Considerations

  • Listening actively
  • Paraphrasing
  • Open and closed questions with guidelines for use
  • What empathy is and it’s four attributes
  • Making effective apologies
  • What call control is and strategies for controlling the call
  • Guidelines for presenting a solution

Module 3: Techniques that Help

  • Taking care of the issue, even when it is hard
  • Negotiating
  • When and how to educate the customer
  • Reframing the “no”
  • H.E.L.P.

Module 4: Avoiding Escalations

  • Three reasons why customers escalate
  • Word choices that cause escalations
  • Positioning yourself to avoid escalations
  • Responding to immediate requests for escalations

Module 5: Managing Stress

  • Defining stress and how it can help
  • Six myths about stress
  • Top 10 workplace stressors
  • Clues to the customer’s stress
  • Strategies for defusing the customer’s stress
  • 5 vital skills for managing your own stress
  • How choice impacts stress

What You Will Learn
  • Three types of difficult customers and guidelines for handling each type.
  • How listening, asking good questions, empathizing, apologizing, controlling the call, and providing the solution help with difficult customers.
  • Five specific techniques that help manage difficult contacts.How to position yourself as competent and confident so that customers are less likely to escalate. 
  • Avoiding word choices that are likely to cause escalations
  • What stress is all about, how to recognize and handle the customer’s stress, and how to manage your own stress.

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List Price: Varies

Course Duration: 1 Day

This is a 1 day instructor-led course delivered by ICMI Certified Associates. If you have questions about which course is right for you, an ICMI Account Manager is available to help. Complete the Request Information form to speak with your Account Manager.


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