Dealing with difficult people

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This is a 20 minute presentation about personality conflict and customer service.

This is a 20 minute presentation about personality conflict and customer service.

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  • 2. WHO IS A DIFFICULT PERSON?  Someone who has a complaint  Someone dissatisfied with service  Gives staff a hard time  Feels they have to yell or make a scene to get what they want  Doesn’t like to hear “no”  Makes your job difficult
  • 3. PERSONALITIES Introvert Extrovert
  • 4. PERSONALITIES Thinker -”In God We Trust, All Others Use Data” -Emotional Characteristic: Fear (Critical) -Need Fulfillment: Information - Fear: Fear
  • 5. PERSONALITIES Relator - “If It Ain’t Broke, Don’t Fix It” - Emotional Characteristic: Non-Demonstrative - Need Fulfillment: Security - Fear: Loss of Security
  • 6. PERSONALITIES Socializer -”Work Made Fun Gets Done” - Emotional Characteristic: Trust/Optimistic -Need Fulfillment: Acceptance - Fear: Rejection
  • 7. PERSONALITIES Driver - “Be Brief, Be Bright, Be Gone” - Emotional Characteristic: Anger - Need Fulfillment: Results - Fear: Taken Advantage Of
  • 8. TYPES OF DIFFICULT PATRONS  Mr./Ms. Nice Guy/Girl  Quiet Types  School Yard Bullies  Wait and See Types  Mr./Mrs. Know –It-All  Nothing’s Ever Good Enough Types
  • 9. WHAT MAKES A PATRON DIFFICULT  Lack of good customer service  Didn’t feel that their needs were met  Personality conflict  Having a bad day
  • 10. WHAT DO PATRONS WANT 1. Accessibility 2. Availability 3. Affability 4. Agreeability 5. Accountability 6. Adaptability 7. Ability To summarize: Nice People; Easy Process
  • 11. HOW NOT TO SAY “NO”  Filter -choose your words wisely  “Can-Can” rule -let them know what you can acknowledge and what you can do *Only time that you can say “no” is if the request is impossible or illegal*
  • 12. HOW TO DEAL WITH DIFFICULT PEOPLE/PATRONS  Four steps to Communicate with Difficult Person 1. Establish a Direction-begin with end in mind 2. Focus on the pattern of communication 3. Be flexible 4. Commit to a solution
  • 13. HOW TO DEAL WITH DIFFICULT PEOPLE/PATRONS  Two Tips That Will Improve Communication 1. Deal with the situation regardless of how complicated or emotional it may be 2. Stick with the challenge until your message is clearly understood
  • 14. HOW TO DEAL WITH DIFFICULT PEOPLE/PATRONS How to Let Someone Save Face: When: The stakes are minimal, a lose-lose situation exists, or one of the parties doesn’t want a confrontation How: Use “I” instead of “You”, avoid backing the person into a corner, give the other person a way out.
  • 15. HOW TO DEAL WITH DIFFICULT PEOPLE/PATRONS Three important ways to prepare: 1. Create and update policies that reduce problems and protect staff and patrons 2. Develop communications skills to handle variety of situations 3. Train all staff in dealing with difficult patrons Note* Communication Is Critical When Managing Difficult Patrons
  • 16. HOW TO DEAL WITH DIFFICULT PEOPLE/PATRONS  Be RESPONSIVE and not REACTIONARY 1. Breathe 2. Remember that they have problems you are not aware of 3. Take notes if needed 4. Get help
  • 17. HOW TO DEAL WITH DIFFICULT PEOPLE/PATRONS  Have Trust  Say “Yes” (find ways to say yes)  Give Alternatives  Be Approachable  Be Respectful and Kind  Be Flexible  Be Patient  Keep it Simple- make it easy  Be Positive  Do the Right Thing
  • 18. REFERENCES ALA Editions Workshop (Producer). (2013). How to deliver great library customer service. [Webinar] Retrieved from Customer service: Dealing with difficult personalities. (August 16, 2013). Retrieved online from Difficult Customers.pdf Richards, T. Dealing with difficult patrons. [PDF document]. Retrieved online August 16, 2013 from