Dealing with Difficult Customers During COVID-19

How to avoid and defuse charged situations to keep your employees, customers and organization safe

Continuing Education Credits: CEU: 0.3 HRCI: 3 

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Half-Day Seminar


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According to the National Safety Council, physical assaults in the workplace resulted in 20,790 injuries and 453 fatalities in 2018—well before COVID became a contributing factor to heightened customer emotions. Now, with evolving mask and social distancing requirements, headlines are filled with stories of combative customers throwing tantrums in retail spaces, attacking service providers like bus drivers, restaurant and grocery store workers and more. Organizations now face the challenge of not only delivering goods and services during a pandemic, but also discerning how to enforce rules and keep their employees and work environments safe from difficult and unruly customers. If you are asking your employees to ensure customers comply with facial covering and social distancing requirements, or have team members working the unpredictable front lines with direct customer interaction, this interactive seminar is imperative. In just 3-hour, learn strategies to avoid and de-escalate tension to keep your employees, customers and organization safe.

While OSHA regulations and CDC guidelines now agree that facial coverings and social distancing minimize the spread of COVID, many individuals refuse to follow these mandates citing personal freedom. How do you protect your employees, customers and organization during a health crisis that has evolved to a political statement over the right or the requirement to wear a facial covering? Employers and managers must provide team members with the skills needed to handle difficult customer personality types, as well as the techniques necessary to defuse escalated situations when emotions are high. Team members must feel supported and able to call upon managers and supervisors to step in and make critical decisions when customers refuse to comply with outlined policy. Learn the best practices for your employees, supervisors and managers to handle current COVID and pandemic-inspired challenges to keep your workers, customers and organization safe and healthy despite escalating tensions and disagreeable customers.

What You'll Learn

  • The pillars of patience to use during emotionally charged situations.
  • Techniques for remaining calm when dealing with disagreeable and angry customers.
  • Ways to master essential listening skills to increase your influence and earn credibility.
  • Methods for recognizing trouble before it starts.
  • How to explain requirements without increasing customer frustration.
  • Tips for scripting verbiage to minimize the risk of offending customers.
  • Proactive measures to prepare your customers in advance and avoid disagreements.
  • Solutions for streamlining procedures to minimize service interactions.
  • Best practices for defusing and de-escalating difficult customer personality types.
  • Examples of what to do when tempers flare and customers act out.
  • How to bring about resolution and restore the peace.

Who Will Benefit

Employees, business owners, venue operators, managers, front line staff and everyone who deals with customers.