Managing the Challenging Client

To provide a first class outstanding service to your user base requires an understanding of their expectations and the skills to exceed that expectation, even when faced with difficult or challenging individuals.

This ½ day session was originally developed to assist IT help desk staff when dealing with difficult situations or unhappy users who are experiencing technical difficulties but could also be tailored to suit any client facing team who needs to manage challenging individuals.


  • Who’s Who
  • Aims and Learning Outcomes
  • Structure of the Session

Understanding “difficult”

  • When does a situation/individual become “difficult”
  • Reflecting on past experiences

Recognising and managing challenging behaviour

  • What the client does (behavioural triggers)
  • What I do (behavioural triggers)
  • Reactions to “triggers” or “flashpoints”
  • Managing challenging behaviour

Managing Difficult Calls and Situations Effectively

  • Taking the lead: structuring and controlling the conversation
  • Listening and calming the situation
  • Acknowledging difficulties and customer emotions
  • Saying ‘No’ effectively
  • Giving the customer a ‘win’
  • Handling abusive behaviour
  • Closing calls effectively

Action Planning

  • Strategies for moving forward
  • Practical advice and takeaways for use in the workplace