7 Things You Can Say to Gain Control with Challenging Customers

Support phone operator in headset at workplace

If you find it difficult to get your customer to stop telling you the story of just how inconvenienced they were, or are, and to stop rambling on about the problem, it’s likely because the customer is stuck in the past.

You’re going to have to reframe the issue in the customer’s mind. That is, you must strategically move your customer out of a past problem to a focus on the present so that you can offer a solution. Your job, in essence, is to get the customer to move on.

Reframing statements are fantastic in getting the customer to move forward. Reframing does two things for you. First, it acknowledges your customer’s biggest concern. You empathize. Secondly, it ushers in the solution phase of problem resolution.

Here are seven reframing statements that recognize customer concern and help customers move on.

  1. “We have a situation that has come about from a past issue. I want to now focus on what we can do to fix this for you.”

  2. “If I were in your shoes, I think I’d feel just as you do. Now, let’s see what we can do to fix this.”

  3. “We want to get to the bottom of this a much as you do.”

  4. “Rest assured; I will do all I can to fix this for you.”

  5. “I certainly understand your concern. Let’s take a look and see what’s going on.”

  6. “This is no more acceptable to us than it is to you. Let’s take a look at what’s going on here.”

  7. “I will do my best to take care of this for you.”

These seven statements are from my How to Handle Difficult Customers eLearning course. This course focuses on de-escalation and putting you in control of the interaction.

The outcome of this course is frontline customer service professionals who are prepared to create calm, find resolutions that balance the interests of the customer and the company, how to reduce escalations, and how to create a positive conversation with challenging customers.

If you could use some help with dealing with challenging customers, consider this course offered in my online training suite.

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Myra is a favorite training partner to Fortune 500 companies with her customized, engaging, behavior-changing (and fun) customer service workshops, working with McDonald’s, Coca-Cola, Frito-Lay, Michelin, Vera Bradley and other brands.

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