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Dealing With Difficult Customers
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When: September 17, 2019
See details section.
Where: Courtyard Marriott St. Cloud
404 W. St. Germain Street
St. Cloud, Minnesota  56301
United States
Contact: Karen Miller, Event & Membership Coordinator

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A pre-conference to Collections & Disconnects Conference
Dealing with Difficult Customers - Service Survival: Handling demanding and difficult customers

September 17, 2019 (T  9:30-4)

Courtyard Marriott St. Cloud - Hotel is full

St. Cloud, MN

Who Should Attend
Employees at all levels

Serving happy customers is enjoyable for those in a service role. However, helping those who are “not
so happy” can be stressful, demotivating, and costly to an organization if those dealing daily with the
customers don’t know how to best handle demanding customers and difficult situations. This dynamic
program teaches participants how to relate and build rapport, listen to customers, choose words that
say “professional, polished, and in control,” de-escalate tense conversations, and manage daily stress.

Program Objectives:

1. Quickly build rapport with customers
2. Adapt to different communication styles
3. Choose appropriate language
4. Listen and indicate they have heard what their customers have said
5. Communicate with unreasonable customers
6. Better manage service related stress

Understanding Why Some Customers Are Demanding
While some people are genuinely more difficult to please than others, often difficult customers don't
start out being exhausting to manage. Rather, a series of events has led to their current state. This
opening discussion reviews the most common reasons customers become upset, demanding, and hard
to satisfy. During this segment, the group will review the warning signs indicating a change in attitude
and actions they can take to prevent problems from worsening.

Building Rapport
"Like likes like." In other words, people like people who are like them. During this part of the workshop,
participants will learn how they unconsciously communicate to others using their own preferences
rather than their customers' likes and dislikes. Through case studies and role playing, the group will
practice techniques to help them minimize the communication differences between themselves and
their customers.

Understanding Different Communication Styles
Building on the previous module, this segment examines communication styles. Participants will first
learn about their communication style preferences. Next, the group will reflect on and explain how their
types typically communicate. They will also identify the styles they find more challenging and how they
can adapt to each.

Keeping Relationship Solid
Most of us know a slip of the tongue can muddy the water. However, when dealing with challenging
customers, it's easy to say the wrong words if the right ones are not readily available. This part of the
program focuses on the word choice, trigger phrases, and how to sound professional and calm no
matter what the situation.

Dealing with Unreasonable Customers
While most difficult customers are difficult for a reason, there are a few that despite our best efforts to
help, simply cannot be satisfied. This portion of the course addresses customers who attempt to take
advantage of the serving organization, customers who refuse to accept stated rules, laws, and
procedures, and others who will not accept available solutions.

Managing Stress
Dealing with demanding customers can be draining regardless of the provider's ability to handle the
most difficult situations. This program concludes with a review of stress-management techniques and
action planning.

Speaker/Trainer Bio
Pamela Sumner is a gifted trainer, coach, and performance improvement consultant known for generating loyal client fans wherever she goes. Pamela’s non-traditional style is centered around becoming 'one' with the client's organization and immersing herself in their culture, workplace dynamics, business strategy, and competitive climate. She has an expertise in communication, customer service, leadership development, team building, and performance accountability initiatives.

Her extensive background spans over 25 years, in organizational development, training and facilitation experience, allowing her to contribute measurable and significant value to any audience.

She has a master’s degree, in human relations with an emphasis in business behaviors from the University of Oklahoma.  Pamela is a certified administer of a number of assessments including; DiSC, MBTI, MHS EQi-2.O, Hay EI-360. Her client list includes local and national organizations.


$389 MREA Education Program member price / $489 Non-Education Program price


Courtyard Marriott this hotel is currently full
404 W. St. Germain St.
St. Cloud
(320) 654-1661 
320-654-1661. $119/night.

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