Dealing with Difficult, Angry or Aggressive Customers

Unflappable: Dealing with difficult customers.

Handle the most difficult customers with confidence and care—and build an unparalleled customer service reputation.

Are you unsure how to handle angry customers? Finding your approach only escalates aggression? It’s possible to settle these situations empathetically and reduce stress for all concerned. This course looks at the sources of conflict and how you can handle them more effectively. You’ll evaluate your current approach to conflict management, consider factors that may be affecting communication, and learn advanced verbal techniques for de-escalation. Ideal for professionals on the frontline, it will help you collaborate with clients of all kinds to problem-solve and achieve mutually agreeable outcomes.

  • What is covered in the course?

    • What is the difference between difficult, angry and abusive customers?
    • How can I respond in each instance without escalating the situation?
    • What external factors might be contributing to customer hostility?
    • How can reflective listening help me demonstrate empathy and understanding?
    • What is collaborative language and why is it relevant to conflict resolution?
    • How and why should I use effective questioning to gather information?
    • What workplace and environmental factors can I change or be more aware of?
    • How can I manage my own emotions and stay calm under pressure?
  • Should I attend?

    Professionals wanting to handle difficult customer situations better – regardless of their level – should attend.

  • How will I benefit?

    Developing your conflict resolution skills will have direct positive impacts on your professional performance and experience. You’ll exit the course with a toolkit relevant to every interaction you have and feel confident working with customers from first complaint to resolution.

  • How will my organisation benefit?

    Your new skills will help your organisation save customer and stakeholder relationships they may currently be losing, and develop a name for service excellence. You’ll also be able to share new strategies and tools with colleagues—improving empathy and communication capabilities across the organisation.

    Need customised training for your organisation?

    Contact our team to discuss customising this course to meet your needs.


  • AQF Equivalence, Articulation Pathways CPD Points and Certification

    • Participants will receive a hard copy University of Adelaide Certificate of Completion.
    • This PACE course may contribute to earning Continuing Professional Development (CPD) points or credit. Many professional associations accredit CPD at a standard rate of 1 hour of professional development / learning = 1 CPD point. This should be used as a guide only and confirmation should be sought from your accrediting body prior to registration in any PACE course or program.

Enter our online learning space

Your course will be delivered via our virtual learning platform and includes the following:

  • access to online course materials and activities 1 week prior to live virtual learning session
  • online support and interaction with your facilitator and course coordinator
  • live virtual learning sessions with your facilitator
  • further self-learning resources to embed your learning
  • post course evaluation.

You will need:

  • computer or tablet
  • web browser Chrome or Firefox to view your course online
  • webcam, headphones and microphone
  • internet connection (broadband or 4G minimum)
  • notepaper and pen
  • a willingness to participate and engage with the instructor and other course participants
  • if your first language is not English, you must be equipped to demonstrate English Language Proficiency throughout your short course enrolment at a minimum IELTS Level 6.5 in all bands in line with the University of Adelaide’s Minimum English Language Requirements.

Available course dates:


No dates for this course are currently being offered. Please register your interest for future dates by emailing