Monthly Archives: October 2012

Difficult Customers — Intent

I talk a good bit about customer’s intent in my new book, “Succeeding with Difficult Customers”. It is surprising to me that so many companies, large and small, seem to ignore this important caveat to customer relations.

Here are two KEY ‘intents’ of customers:

     Get something done

    Get something done NOW!

So why do we have to wade through inane telephone mazes?

Here are a few pet peeves that reflect the above ‘intents’:

Companies that ask for and have you key in a good bit of information, then when you finally get to a customer service representative (after many minutes of frustration) the real person ask you for ALL the same information again. So what happened to all the information you just provided? Is it off wandering around cyberspace forever? Or some strange telephone heaven?

Another is when the phone system goes through the usual rigamarole of asking this and that, which you either answer (I personally don’t like talking to a computer) or key in, and none of it really matters because you know you’re going to end up with the customer service representative anyway. THEN you start all over. PLUS if you push ‘0’ for operator it no longer takes you there — you get a message that says something to the effect that they won’t give you to a real person until they know what you want. Arrrggggh. I KNOW what I want, a real person!

These same problems occur when you are in a store, only this is with real people. Getting shuffled from one person to another who can’t help does not put a good feeling in a customer’s stomach. This happened to me recently at a major hardware retailer — I finally just walked out of the store after four people, no answer, and twenty minutes of my time.

A good part of my nook is about Business’ responsibilities. I challenge all CEO’s and VPs to get out here and TRY their systems and interact as a customer with their personnel. Ouch!


Joe Koob

1 Comment

Filed under Pet Peeves, Understanding Difficult People

Succeeding with Difficult Customers: Now Published

My new book, “Succeeding with Difficult Customers” is now available for most e-readers. See

Joseph Koob II Author of Succeeding with Difficult Customers
Sample or purchase Succeeding with Difficult Customers:
Web site:

Here are a few excerpts:

Preface: This book is for anyone who is in contact with customers on a regular basis: clerks, sales personnel, customer service representatives, phone service representatives, managers who are in the customer contact loop, and so on. It is also for those business owners and company executives who want to gain insight into what is really important for them and their representatives to know about working with difficult customers. Most importantly this entire book is about customer service, and the many key ideas that make or break what happens out in the real world where personnel interact with customers every day.

Chapter I: Anyone who deals with customers on a regular basis knows the difficulties and frustrations that frequently arise. Keeping a ‘stiff upper lip,’ maintaining a pleasant, open demeanor, and weathering the more difficult of these encounters can be very stressful. Over time these difficult interactions can be detrimental to customer representatives’ emotional and physical well-being. Putting the gamut of customer relations and interactions into a perspective that is workable, livable, and supportive of the customer contact agent is critical to business success.

There are three key areas that a company should consider in training personnel to work with customers:

 The Responsibilities a business has in providing representatives with information, training, and support so they can do their jobs successfully and efficiently

 Knowing the Customer – Finding out what he/she wants, needs, what they care about, and what their intent is in any interaction is critical to your representatives’ success and to your business’ success.

 What are the Knowledge and Skills contact personnel need to be able to Communicate positively and effectively when dealing with customers, especially difficult customers.

Important: it doesn’t matter as much as you might think that the customer is ‘right’ or gets ‘exactly what they want.’ What is far more important is that they come out of the experience feeling they have been listened to, understood, and that they matter.

Which means that: they feel cared for.

Most customers don’t want to be difficult. They want something from you.

Chapter 22, “Communicating with Customers:


 Understanding and caring about a customer’s concern is remembered far longer than the solution you provided.

15% of this book can be accessed for free BEFORE you buy. Go to links above. Please help spread the word that this book is now available. More excerpts soon.

Best and a thank you for your continued support,

Joe Koob

Leave a comment

Filed under Understanding Difficult People