11 Types of Difficult Customers and How to Handle Them

Updated on January 22, 2021
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Woman talking to customer

No matter what industry you’re in, you’ve most likely dealt with a difficult customer at some point. Whether the issue you faced was beyond your control or a direct response to a mistake, in business you may encounter the good, the bad, and the ugly.

It can be challenging to know exactly how to handle a difficult customer, but with the right tips and tactics you’ll be prepared to navigate any situation that comes your way. Identifying which customer type you’re dealing with is the first step to successfully handling the incident.

Once you know what type of difficult customer you’re dealing with, it can be helpful to keep a few key tips in mind. Approach each encounter uniquely and cater your communication method to the customer type you’re working with.Think about shifting your mindset and look at every interaction as an opportunity to build rapport. Stay calm and professional no matter what situation you find yourself in. If you play your cards right, you’re likely to end up with a returning customer and in turn, avoiding customer churn.

Check out the infographic below on 11 types of difficult customers and the best ways to help them:

Difficult customers infographic

Mind Tools | Inc. | Forbes

Meredith Wood
GM, New Markets at NerdWallet

Meredith Wood

Meredith Wood is the founding editor of the Fundera Ledger and a GM at NerdWallet.

Meredith launched the Fundera Ledger in 2014. She has specialized in financial advice for small business owners for almost a decade. Meredith is frequently sought out for her expertise in small business lending and financial management.

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