OD Bites: In Stressful Situations with Challenging Customers, Learn to “STOP”

Adapted from Real Service: The Essentials to Building Authentic Relationships With Customers by Dr. Peter Cheng

In the context of customer service, challenging customers are often dissatisfied; dissatisfied customers are often difficult; and difficult customers are often illogical and angry. Using the STOP technique in dealing with challenging customers can prevent us from taking regrettable actions.


“S” stands for Signal. Is your heart pounding harder than before? Do you find your tone of voice increasing? Watch out for these signs of your own stress and anger.

Once you’ve identified any aforementioned signals, take heed of them and Take control of your mind and body to do the Opposite. If you feel tense, drink a glass of water. Loosen up your fists, lower your volume and think positively about the situation at hand. Remind yourself that customers are just unique individuals who need your help. 

Finally, it takes Practice to master these actions and perfect your dealings with challenging customers in stressful situations!

Find out more about managing challenging customers and the essentials to building authentic relationships with the ones you serve by emailing connect@pace-od.com.