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Dealing with Difficult Customers/Situations Training



The customer’s perception is their reality. This well-known phrase in customer service circles boils down to this: the customer might not actually be right, but they think or feel they are. If you want a happy resolution, you must take this reality into account when dealing with them.

In this course, Learners will discover how self-awareness and self-control are vitally important when it comes to dealing with difficult situations and complaints. They’ll learn how to keep calm and focused on the goal of working towards a win-win outcome that works for everyone.


Who Should Attend?

• Anyone dealing with difficult customer situations face to face, on the phone, or via email or letter.
• Staff who manage complaints.
• Suitable for situations involving internal and external customers.


Learning Outcome

• Learn how to defuse emotionally charged situations.
• Remain calm and think clearly under pressure.
• Gain the confidence to know you can take the correct approach, however difficult the situation.
• Maintain your and your organisation’s credibility by taking a proactive approach and finding a credible solution.



Course Topics

Scheduled Course topics are coloured black. In-house Training is tailored to your needs so you can choose any of the topics listed below plus you can combine topics from any of our courses to create the perfect learning solution.


Reacting to Difficult Customers - When you’re confronted with an irritated or angry customer, you need to think carefully about how you act next. This module helps you identify behaviours that will – and won’t – bring things to a peaceful resolution.

  • Introduction to Dealing with Difficult Customers/Situations
  • Identifying ‘Trigger Points’ That Cause Unnecessary Escalations
  • Coping with ‘Red Flag’ Moments


Identifying the Customers’ Emotional and Practical Needs - What does that angry or irritated customer actually want? It’s not always easy to determine, but this module offers techniques to help you listen and respond under pressure, so you provide the customer with a practical – and emotional – fix.

  • Conditioning Behavioural Interpretations
  • Understanding ‘Fight or Flight’
  • Advanced Listening Skills (S.I.F.T. Method™)
  • Responding Appropriately

Managing Customer Expectations - Sometimes customers need to be made aware of what is and isn’t possible. Make sure you keep them on side by delivering the news in a positive and proactive manner.

  • Saying ‘No’ Proactively & Delivering Bad News
  • Giving Feedback Diplomatically (Third Party Context™)

Dealing With Challenging Interactions - A complete suite of Topics to help you maintain a calm, professional approach to all kinds of difficult customer interactions.

  • Managing Confrontations in Public
  • Handling Rambling / Talkative Customers
  • Confronting Inappropriate, Abusive or Intimidating Behaviours Assertively
  • Recognising General and Manipulative Behaviours (In-house training only)
  • Handling Upset and Distraught Customers (In-house training only)
  • Dealing with Bereaved Customers (In-house training only)
  • Handling Feedback/Criticism About Yourself or Colleagues (In-house training only)
  • Responding to Common Customer Objections (In-house training only)
  • Responding To Probing Customer Questions About Sensitive Topics (In-house training only)
  • Responding to Customers Who Are Exaggerating or Lying (In-house training only)




Delivery Style

• Interactive practicals including group discussions, role-plays (in small groups), and case study examples.




Learning Formats


Option One: Tailored In-house Training (Suitable for Groups of Staff)


Our Approach: A comprehensive seven-step approach enables us to identify your requirements, and then carefully tailor course topics and post-training reinforcement support tools to suit your needs.

Length: Tailored to your needs – bite-sized 90-minute sessions; or half-day, full-day, or two-day courses.

Locations/Availability: Delivered at your premises, or a venue of your choice in the UK or anywhere in the world (where appropriate). Training is available seven days a week, and there is no additional charge for weekend training.

Group Size: Flexible.


Discuss your requirements with one of our experts. Call 0800 121 4660 / 0208 445 9625, or complete an enquiry form.



Option Two: Scheduled Courses (Suitable for Individuals and Small Groups)


Our Approach: Learners and their line manager (where appropriate) complete questionnaires prior to the course, to establish key development areas. Learners complete personal action plans throughout the course to support the post-course reinforcement of new skills.

Length: 1 day (9.30am – 4.30pm).

Locations / Availability: Regular courses in London (dates listed below).

Group Size: Average of just six Learners per course (maximum of eight), led by experienced Trainers in a friendly learning environment. Because of the low numbers, plenty of personal attention is given to each Learner.

Refreshments: Lunch and refreshments are provided.

Awards: Certificate of Training presented on completion and course manual included.


London Training Centre: 20 Mercer Street, Covent Garden, London WC2H 9HD.

Course Date Price Status Book Course
2019 Dates  
June 12th £345+vat Available Book Online
September 12th £345+vat Available Book Online
November 12th £345+vat Available Book Online
Can't see a suitable date? Give us a call on 0800 121 4660 to discuss.



Special Offers: Multiple bookings discounts are available and we also offer discounts for Charities and Social Enterprises.




Clients Include

Hamilton Mercer Training - Clients

Call 0800 121 4660
Enquiry form Click here

“I thought the course was excellent and tailored to our needs very well. I'm looking forward to putting the skills I have learnt into practice. The trainer was very good and engaging”.

Reservations Supervisor

Economy Car Hire


“The course content was very useful to my position and is good for someone who regularly deals with difficult customers. The delivery was informative and practical”.

Customer Service Executive



“The course taught me how to deal with difficult situations and how to be more confident when resolving a situation. The role-plays were excellent because they related to the situations I deal with, and therefore has allowed me to change the way I handle these going forward”.

Customer Services Advisor

Basingstoke College of Technology


“I have improved my confidence and feel I have the skills in place to improve further. I am more equipped to deal with problem customers efficiently and confidently”.

Customer Advisor

BG Controls


“The rather daunting thought about role playing was quashed by the trainer. The way in which these scenarios were delivered were amazing, feedback was constructive and done on a personal level. This course was brilliant and I will be recommending this to my learning development team when I get back to the office”.

Customer Care Manager

British Red Cross


“The course was well structured and very well presented. The visual, verbal and role plays were really helpful to make it easier to take everything learnt on-board”.

Travel Coordinator

Al Jazeera


“The course was very interesting as it gave an insight into how we perceive ourselves and how that affects how we are with others. There were useful ideas on how to deal with difficult callers”.

Membership Administrator

The Royal Opera House


“Really enjoyed the training it was relevant and useful to all our team, excellent techniques to help when dealing with difficult people. Thank you”.

Team Leader

Wakefield Council


“I found the course extremely useful to aid the day to day situations of dealing with difficult customers and staff, every case being unique. The course contents were broken into different understanding and learning styles which made the course mixed and interesting. I look forward to the next training session with the trainer Simon”.

Department Manager



“The trainer clearly and professionally demonstrated a number of good alternatives for dealing with difficult situations. I would advise all staff to go on this course”.

Campus Administrator

Middlesex University



Dealing with Difficult Situations