If you work in a business that deals with people in an ongoing way then you are probably familiar with dealing with negative attitudes. As we know people cannot always be on their best behavior, especially if they received a product that did not work or was broke. Or possibly the service that they expected was not delivered.

Even after working in a people service business for many years I still get surprised at the negative things people will say to us when they come to our office and are bringing unexpected (at least to us) baggage with them.

It is quite a challenge to try to turn them around, meet their needs and correct the problem in the time they are there, and at times we are not successful. To tell the truth, even if we had all day, with some people there is no winning over the situation.

But don’t think that all is lost when you encounter a “tough customer” because there are a few simple tactics you can use on a negative attitude that just might work.

  • When someone is complaining to you, ask them to be specific about the problem.  They may try to continue with the same statements, but bring them back to what the specifics are so you can really understand where they are coming from and without being specific you cannot really help them.  Many times they cannot be specific because it is an attitude issue and when they realize it, they are sort of up against a wall because they cannot pin-point the exact problem. When this happens they will usually calm down.

When  you get someone who will just not come around and they  are on a rampage, remember these two simple things that you can do;

  • You need  to “let go”  and don’t challenge them.
  • You need to “choose to continue to be positive”.

The person may not change their negative attitude, but you do not have to let it get to you.  You can continue to smile, let them know that you want to help them however you can, but do not let them get the best of you.

You have the choice, even though it may be hard at times, remember 99% of the time the problem has nothing to do with you personally, it is about a situation.

The link below has some good points when it comes to dealing with negative, difficult people.  I am sure you will find a few more good points to follow.

Why don’t you look at it this way, encountering difficult customers can be an exciting time to practice your people service skills, each encounter will make you better to handle the next.

Dealing with Difficult Customers