Dealing with Challenging Customers

by | Nov 8, 2022 | NetSuite Fundamentals


Having the ability to deal with challenging customers can be important for business, as it can help minimize the stress they can cause and improve the efficiency of an organization. 

There are various behaviors that can characterize a challenging customer, but they all share one common trait… they can negatively affect your business. Challenging customers typically drain team member morale, slow down productivity and impact one’s physical and mental health. They can also lead to employee turnover/burnout and affect a company’s reputation. 

Some common traits of a challenging customer as per observation of NetSuite consultants include: 

  • Demanding tight deadlines and expecting your team to meet them, although your company has other responsibilities and clients 
  • Treating you or other employees poorly, particularly over minor issues 
  • Excessive consulting with others before making decisions, even small ones 
  • Allowing problem-oriented, not solution-oriented individuals to lead initiatives
  • Insisting that projects are simple without regard for complex integrations or customized details


Since challenging customers can be difficult to manage, here are some steps to help when interacting with them. We look forward to your feedback or additional ideas. 

Stay Calm 

Regardless of how difficult a customer is, it is important to always maintain a calm demeanor. This will allow you to demonstrate how to treat them and improve your own reputation. A calm demeanor also helps express your organization communicate more clearly. 

Actively Listen 

Acknowledging a customer’s concerns is sometimes enough to defuse a situation. It can also help them understand that you are listening and are willing to work with them to find a solution. Most people want to feel understood and have their concerns heard. Giving a customer the opportunity to vent and allowing them to do so without interruption and restating their concerns is critical. Repeating back to the customer what they said makes them aware you are engaged and asking follow-up questions solidifies a better understanding of their concerns. 

Choose Empathy 

Understanding what is “unsaid” can help make a customer feel valued and included in the conversation. Providing empathetic support can help turn angry customers into more collaborative, cooperative individuals. Furthermore, being able to recognize their point of view and motivation can provide valuable insight into what the customer really needs.  

Be Responsive 

By providing a prompt response, you can establish a clear communication line. Even without assuming responsibility for the issue, a timely response reminds them that they are important and heard. You can also suggest a time to meet with them to get additional details about their concern. 

Project Governance 

Project governance is a vital component of any project’s development, and pays dividends for a project with demanding customers. Agreeing upon a written contract at the beginning of a project can help avoid misunderstandings later. It is important to keep a record of all interactions documenting the details of all conversations, including the time and date, and recording meetings when possible to keep a record of key communication. 

Be a Solutionist 

After looking into an issue, you may find that you or your team were not meeting an expectation. However, if the client miscommunicated or the organization misread their expectations, avoid blaming. Instead, explain what they can expect from you moving forward and how you can improve the situation. For more information regarding anything in this blog, you can directly get in touch with NetSuite experts, they will be happy to help you in every way possible.


Unfortunately, in business, it is extremely hard to make all customers happy. However, by implementing the techniques above, you can improve the process of communicating with frustrated customers and become a more effective, impactful organization. 

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