#117: How To Deal With Abusive Customers [Podcast]

There's a saying: “The customer is always right.” But what about customers who are abusive, dishonest, and bullying? Are they always right? I think not. And you must protect yourself and your staff from these bullies.

Furious woman

In this week's episode, I share 7 tips for handling abusive or “problem” customers.


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Tip Of The Week 

I really like a habit tracking app called Habit List. From their website: “Habit List includes everything you need to reach your goals, wrapped in a beautiful and intuitive interface. It motivates you, helps you stay focused, and keeps you on track. It’s for all the little things that make a big difference.” I like that you can track streaks, be reminded what is due today, and track your trends.

Spiritual Foundations

Our job as Christians is not to hide out in the church building – it's to launch out into the world.

And Jesus came and said to them, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.” Matthew [28:18]-20

Feature Segment: How To Deal With Abusive Customers

Sometimes customers are dishonest, abusive, and even psychopathic bullies. You need to protect yourself and your staff from these people. Here are 7 tips for dealing with abusive customers.

  1. Have clear policies in place regarding the most common questions your customers may have.
  2. Establish a procedure for processing feedback.
  3. Respond quickly and decisively.
  4. Identify bullies quickly, and disengage politely and quickly.
  5. Know when to fire a customer, and do it sooner rather than later.
  6. Realize that sometimes the relationship is just not right, and end it.
  7. Never engage in a public debate with a customer.

By the way, not all customer complaints are bullying or abusive. Most complaints are poorly communicated requests. When you make a mistake, admit it and correct it immediately.

As hard as it may be, don't let the crazy antics of a few troublemakers distort your perception of your customers, or yourself. If you get 99% positive feedback, and 1% irrational criticism, recognize that the problem is likely not on your end.

What To Do Now

Here are some steps you can take to put this week's episode content to work for you:

  1. Ask yourself how, as a follower of Christ, you can exert more influence for his Kingdom in your so-called ordinary life.
  2. Review the list of actions for dealing with abusive customers, and start putting this into place immediately.
  3. Review your customer records and ask yourself if there are a few stinkers you need to get rid of.

Get The Transcript

Get the transcript for this show by clicking here. Transcripts provided by SuccessTranscripts – a great solution if you need your podcast, sermon, speech, or other audio transcribed.

Question: Have you ever had to deal with a “crazy customer”? How did you handle it? (NO NAMES, PLEASE!) Click here to leave your comments.


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Ray Edwards is a world-renowned copywriter and communications strategist, writing for some of the most powerful voices in leadership and business including New York Times bestselling authors Jack Canfield and Mark Victor Hansen (Chicken Soup for the Soul) and Tony Robbins. Ray is a sought-after speaker and author, hosts a popular weekly podcast, and blogs at RayEdwards.com.