Customer Experience News & Trends

The 6 most annoying customers – and how to tame each

Some customers are tougher than others – and here are six of the toughest. 

We’ve included proven ways to work with them, and possibly, win them over.

1. Too-Nosy Nancy

Nancy is friendly, outgoing, polite … and way too curious. She has a little business to be handled, and then a lot of nib-nosing to do. She’ll probably tell you way too much about herself, her latte, her kids, her career, her schnauzer, her vacation …

Work with her: You can avert her personal questions with one-word answers. And you can get her to stop telling you too much with a quick turn back to business like this: “Interesting. Now, can we deliver Tuesday or Wednesday?”

2. Impatient Ivan

Ivan is in a hurry. He’s not willing to wait for you to finish the information you must share with him, the customer before him or the normal process of doing business. He’s often rude when demanding that you “move it along.”

Work with him: Set expectations. Tell him upfront how long a process takes or the amount of time he’ll have to wait on anything.

3. High-Maintenance Harry

Harry needs extra everything: attention, product, speed, service, detail, vigilance, visits, calls, responses, etc. He contacts often and asks for a little bit more every time.

Work with him: You want to set expectations for High-Maintenance Harry, too. Then, after you’ve done what he’s asked, review his request and how you made it happen so he feels he’s getting all he expects.

4. Too-Important-For-You Tanya

Tanya is demanding and will likely say, “I want to talk to the manager” or “Is there someone else who can handle this” early in your interactions. She wants to climb quickly to the top of the ladder because she thinks she’ll get the best experience there.

Work with her: Give her the answer or solution, then the opportunity to climb the ladder. For instance, “I think we can resolve this by doing XYZ. If you don’t think that will work, I’ll get my manager. How does that sound to you?”

5. Distracted Dan

Dan has other things on his mind, in his hand and out of his control – and he’s doing it all while he’s asked you for something. He’s only partly in the conversation with you, and won’t likely absorb the answers you give or solutions you provide.

Work with him: Back up what you say and do. Send an email, give a URL or agree on a follow-up phone call to make sure he has another opportunity to review what you’ve done.

6. Crisis Connie

Connie is generally a poor time manager and a bit of a drama queen. Her crisis – something she failed to take care of – turns into your headache. She expects that she’s your only priority and you’ll take care of it now.

Work with her: Focus on what you can do. Avoid telling her that what she needs is difficult or impossible (because she’s contacted you too late or it’s an extraordinary request). Giving her possibilities will make both of you feel in control.

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