Difficult Customer Moments: Free Your Mind to Give Superior Service

Difficult Customer Moments: Free Your Mind!

With more than twenty years of teaching how to handle difficult customer moments, I can attest to one eternal truth:

Both the obstacle and the pathway to handing difficult moments with customers are in the mind — our minds, not theirs.

Difficult Customer Moments: Image is sign that says free your mind now!

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

Image by: Environmentblog via Creative Commons License

In Difficult Customer Moments: Free Our Minds!

First and most importantly, let’s free our minds of the disdainful phrase — difficult customer — and replace it with the empowering phrase, difficult moment. This changes our outlook from one of resentment and disregard to empowered action. We don’t resent customers and who they are. We work to remedy the difficulty.

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

What If …

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

And What If …

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

The phrase “What if” lights up the creative parts of our brain freeing us from the emotional trap of defensiveness. When we free our minds of labels and blame, we see and hear invaluable information, alternate views, and previously undetected possibilities.

Open-mindedness transforms the difficult customer moment from heavy burden to superior customer service. Our adaptability and new thinking show the customer our professional care and that echoes throughout the customer’s community.

Action Summary
In difficult customer moments, silently ask yourself these what ifs. This mind freeing approach will:

  • Keep you calm and caring.
  • Stop you from telling the customer “calm down.” (Don’t ever say this!)
  • Tool you with great questions to ask the customer.
  • Improve your listening.
  • Fuel you with ideas on how to resolve the problem.
  • Lift your spirit and sustain your morale.
  • Wow the customer with care and great service recovery.

When have you received great care as a customer when you were upset?

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

Related Posts:
5 Powerful Beliefs & Actions to Win Over Rude or Angry Customers
24 Customer Service Tips to Make it Easy for Customers

©2012-2015 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 email info@katenasser.com for permission and guidelines. 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.




Engage in people skills learning!

Let’s turn interaction obstacles into business success in leadership, teamwork, and customer service experience.

I invite your questions, welcome your wisdom, and look forward to working with you.
~Kate Nasser, The People Skills Coach™

6 Responses to “Difficult Customer Moments: 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

  3. Dionne Davie says:

    I found this very helpful. Customer Service is a gateway for me to get to something better and tips like this make the journey more bearable. I appreciate it.

    Thank you,
    Dionne Davie

    • Kate Nasser says:

      So happy you found it directly helpful Dionne. I have taught this method for many years and the positive feedback continues to roll in. I am grateful that you have taken the time to add your voice to this!

      I hope you will weigh in on any blog post of interest to you.

      Warmest thanks,

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