Handling Angry, Hostile and Abusive Customers

Anyone who works on the frontline has, at some point, had to deal with exceptionally challenging behaviour from their customers. This workshop gives you practical tips and techniques to deal with these situations in a calm, assertive and professional manner.

Through discussions, case studies and role plays you will learn why people react angrily, how to manage your own emotions and how to handle hostile and abusive behaviour.

Who should attend?

Customer service professionals, executives and managers who want to build confidence in dealing with extremely challenging customers.


  • Better understand your customers’ anger and your own reactions
  • Know how to stay calm and think straight in stressful situations
  • Use a range of strategies to deal with hostile and abusive customers more assertively

Course Outline

Understanding yourself and others

  • Knowing yourself
  • Physical responses to challenging situations
  • Dealing with stress

Anger and its causes

  • The anger escalator
  • Discovering the root causes of anger
  • Case studies – handling angry customers

Managing conflict

  • Using a ‘decision tree’ to manage an angry exchange
  • Strategies to handle personal criticism
  • Being assertive

Showing empathy

  • Sympathy vs empathy
  • Empathising with agitated customers
  • Role plays

Handling refusals and complaints

  • Refusing requests and offering alternatives
  • Explaining policy using assertive techniques
  • Tone in complaint handling

Dealing with Hostile or abusive customers

  • Identifying hostile or abusive customers
  • 5 strategies to deal with hostile ‘bait’
  • Final role plays and feedback

Course Information

Public Training Dates 2019
February 11-12 April 8-9 June 3-4
August 15-16 October 10-11 November 25-26

Length: 2 days

Venue: Professional Development Centre, Toa Payoh

Course Fees: $954.44 (including GST)