Difficult Customers: Free Your Mind to Give Superior Service

After twenty-three years of teaching how to handle difficult customer moments, I can attest that one truth continues to this day.

Both the obstacle and the pathway to handing difficult moments with customers is in the mind — ours, not theirs.


Free Your Mind to Deliver Superior Customer Service in Difficult Moments Image by: EnvironmentBlog

Image by: Environmentblog via Creative Commons License


Free The Mind to Give Superior Customer Service in Difficult Moments

Most importantly, let’s replace the mind trapping phrase — difficult customers — with the empowering phrase, difficult moments. We don’t resent them. We believe we can change them and work to do just that.

Then replace our desperate lament of “Why Me”, with the mind freeing phrase “What If”.

What If …


  1. The customer has goals I just don’t understand yet?
  2. The customer’s personality is just different from mine?
  3. There’s an urgency I’m just not aware of?
  4. The customer just has insight beyond mine?
  5. There are just cultural differences causing stress?
  6. The customer just feels confused and worried?
  7. The customer is just pressed for time?
  8. Trust is still lacking?



And What If …

  1. I listen carefully to hear what the customer is saying and not saying?
  2. I adapt to the customer’s personality type to build the bond?
  3. I explore to detect the urgent pressure?
  4. I hear the need instead of an attack to learn the bigger picture?
  5. I let the customer set the cultural bent?
  6. I clear confusion to relieve the worry?
  7. I get right to the main issue to speed the process?
  8. I do everything I can to build trust?



“What if” thinking lights up the creative parts of our brain freeing us from the emotional trap of defensiveness. When we free the mind of labels and blame, we breathe in valuable information, alternate views, and previously undetected possibilities.

Open-mindedness transforms the moment from a heavy burden to superior service. Adaptability speaks commitment and care that echoes throughout the customer’s community.

So next time you feel your blood pressure rising or heart pounding in a difficult moment with a customer, STOP and silently ask yourself these what ifs. This mind freeing approach will lift your spirit and sustain your morale.

Stay inspired!

From my professional experience to your success,
Kate Nasser, The People-Skills Coach™

Related Posts:
Super Customer Service: Beliefs to Remember
Best in Service: Key Link in Chain Not Life in Chains

©2012 Kate Nasser, CAS, Inc. Somerville, NJ. I appreciate your sharing the link to this post on your social streams. However, if you want to re-post or republish the content of this post, please first email me at info@katenasser.com. Thank you for respecting intellectual capital.


Kate Nasser, The People-Skills Coach™, delivers coaching, consulting, training, and keynotes on leading change, employee engagement, teamwork, and delivering the ultimate customer service. She turns interaction obstacles into interpersonal success. See this site for workshop outlines, keynote footage, and customer results.

6 Responses to “Difficult Customers: Free Your Mind to Give Superior Service”

  1. Kimb Manson says:

    Another great article Kate, and one I needed to hear right now :)

  2. Ellen Weber says:

    Great post, Kate. To see through another’s eyes is to literally reconstruct the brain to enjoy more possibilities with that person. When we use “what if …? questions at the Brain Center — we get amazing results! Bravo!

    It’s a bit like changing a furnace filter to enjoy more efficiency! See http://www.brainleadersandlearners.com/general/change-filters-insert-new-view/

    You said it best here! Thanks! Ellen

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