Challenging customers are not easy to deal with. Here are our five tips to help you get over these challenging situations.

Katemangostar |

Katemangostar |

There’s always one customer who is unhappy and will yell at you on the phone or to your face. Okay, more than one. And this kind of behaviour from tough clients does make one question their competence, chops away at self-esteem and leads to higher stress levels. It would be so easy to just yell back, however, as a plumbing service provider, that’s not always an option.

Ideally, it’s best to foresee any possible issues by providing a clear service agreement, regular updates and a discussion with the client should the work take longer than expected or if additional costs are to be added. Quite a few disagreements emerge because there hasn’t been clarity before the job has started.

It’s also good practice to get the client’s needs down in writing to avoid scope creep later on. It’s hard to argue with a signed agreement.

This isn’t always possible, and there may be occasions when these pre-emptive steps have been left out, or you are simply dealing with a client who is arrogant, opinionated and downright rude. So, here are our five tips on getting through customer complaints and difficult clients:

  1. Respond as quickly as possible. It’s easy to want to put off chatting to someone who has left an irate message on your phone, however, the quicker you get this resolved, the better – and not just for the client, but you as well.
  2. Stay calm. Take a deep breath. Give yourself a moment to gather your thoughts and respond as calmly as you can. This can be difficult to do with some people, particularly if they have been particularly aggressive. Being calm means you are de-escalating the situation and are more likely to retain the client than if you respond with the same level of anger or aggression.
  3. How can you fix it? Find out what your client needs in order to remedy the situation. Ask yourself if you did actually mess up or if you hadn’t explained the way you work and what needs to be done clearly enough? If the client needs clarification on the project, provide it. Your client is looking for a solution and is turning to you to provide it.
  4. Keep records and updates. Note what you have done so far, what you are doing to fix the problem and keep the client updated. Keep all of this logged in writing with dates and times so that if there is a dispute further down the line, you have evidence of what you have done to resolve the dispute.
  5. Do you need to let the client go? There are some clients out there who are simply mean, nasty human beings, and no matter what you do for them, it will never be enough. Is it time to end the relationship and move on? This can be difficult, however, your mental health matters, and if they continue to harass you and it is taking a toll, you need to consider referring them to someone else.


  1. Step-By-Step Guide: How to Handle Customer Complaints (
  2. How To Effectively Deal With Difficult Clients [8 Tips + Examples] (
  3. Coping with challenging clients (