How to handle tough conversations

  • Don't be judgemental. Suppress the desire to be judgemental. Often, the customer's anger and frustration are because of genuine concerns.
  • Start with why to get to the root cause. Why is the conversation important? What am I missing? What am I assuming?
  • Listen actively. Pay attention to what the customer says and acknowledge the problem so that they feel heard.
  • Let the customers say what they have to say. Mirror back what your customers said to create trust and confidence.
  • Wear the problem-solving hat. Try to give acceptable customer solutions that are within the firm's guidelines.


Difficult customer conversation- How to handle them?


Difficult customer conversations

Some conversations become difficult due to several factors.

  • It could be due to differences in people's expectations.
  • Miscommunication can contribute to misaligned expectations.
  • Emotions often steer people's conversations. Your customer may have a bad day or get confused.

Most tough situations can be avoided by understanding your customer's expectations and aligning them with the business's goals.


Examples of difficult conversations:

  • The customer has decided not to renew yet to pitch as a last chance.
  • You and your team unexpectedly failed a customer, but you have a conversation and act in a way that will win their trust back.
  • If you're a leader, letting someone go.
  • Changing the topic to move from a tactical to a strategic discussion.
  • Taking responsibility for the team for any failures.


Non-verbal cues can affect conversations with your stakeholders. For example:

  • You make faces when you don't agree with something.
  • You avoid eye contact.
  • You show less interest in the conversation.
  • You cross your arms and are not ready to agree with anything.
  • You raise your voice in an attempt to prove your point.
  • You only focus on the negative points instead of balancing them with positive ones.


  • Mindset shift or perspective shift is essential before you speak to the customer.
  • Do your homework. Ensure you understand the customer and the problem.
  • Apologise and be empathetic. Be quick to apologise for the inconvenience caused. This will calm the customer down before the actual conversation.
  • Listen actively to the concerns.
  • Address customer concerns honestly.
  • Try to find a solution together if you're unable to resolve the issue.
  • Hold your ground. Tell them what is acceptable and what not to ensure you and your customer are on the same page.
  • Focus on building relationships.


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Measuring the quality of customer service

Customer satisfaction and customer service quality are not the same things.

A smiley face in your post-service feedback survey does not mean you gave your customers great service. They might love the product and consider the service okay enough. Or they might be happy with the answer, not knowing that the answer was incomplete or out of date.

Many customer service teams rely on CSAT and NPS surveys to judge their performances. However, it is critical to understand the difference between the two to measure the quality of the service experience.


How to Measure Customer Service Quality: Methods & Tools - Help Scout

The Duties of a Customer Success Manager

Customer Success Managers are responsible for developing a positive and trusting relationship with the client. This is a unique role that is a hybrid of customer service and sales.

When keeping up with your customer's value, it is important to communicate with them in a way that has sincerity. The results of your efforts to create value are measured in the customer's perception of that value.



How frequently should Customer Success Managers call up their customers?

Land and Expand

In sales, “Land and Expand” is a strategy to land a customer with a small deal, and then sell into the organization to expand your footprint to more seats, additional departments or more products and services.

Land and expand plays out like this in a SaaS:

  1. An individual user signs up for a free trial
  2. Then converts to a paid user
  3. Then you get as many other users in that company as you can
  4. Finally, you convince key decision makers to adopt your product across the organization 



How to Execute a SaaS Land and Expand Strategy