How to Handle Difficult Customers

As with any company selling goods or services, car dealerships are no strangers to dealing with difficult customers. Whether the customer is unsatisfied or unsure, at Empire Dealer Services, we help you find the right employees who excel when it comes to customer service and sales.

The Upset/Unsure Customer

More often than not, a customer’s emotions come from insecurity and a lack of understanding. In the end, you want an upset customer leaving happy and an unsure customer to leave having made a purchase. Here are some general guidelines to follow when dealing with these customers:


  • Listen
  • Empathize
  • Ask questions
  • Break it down


  • Interrupt
  • Take it personally
  • Become frustrated
  • Be demeaning

Practice reflective listening. Passively listening to your customer’s concerns is not enough. You want them to leave feeling satisfied with the solution. To accomplish that, listen to what they are saying and repeat it back to them in a way that makes it clear you understand their worries.

Empathize with their situation. There is no stronger tool than empathy when dealing with a customer. They want to feel heard and understood. Empathy helps create a stronger connection with your customer and lets them know that you recognize how they feel.

Ask as many questions as you can. There is no “one size fits all” solution for customers. Make sure that your questions are specific and detailed. The more you know about your customer, the better you can match products and services directly to their expectations. Some great questions you can ask include:

  • “What brought you in today?”
  • “What have your past car buying experiences been like?”
  • “What is your hope for your experience today and in the future?”

Make it simple for them to understand. Remember, while you may have had extensive training about cars, financing, and insurance, your customer most likely has not. The subject is somewhat foreign to them. Explain things simply but thoroughly so that your customer feels comfortable with their decision.

The Right Employee

Employees are the backbone of every business. They are responsible for connecting with customers and closing the sale. At Empire Dealer Services, we can help you ensure the right people are in place.

The process starts at the recruitment level where we select individuals based on how they interact with people, how they perform on productive skills testing, and their desire for growth. We make sure to look for people who can listen, empathize, communicate effectively, and speak with passion and persuasion.

Although difficult customers can feel discouraging, having the right team with the proper skills to handle the situation will instill you with confidence. From the recruitment phase to the closing of a sale, Empire Dealer Services is here to support your dealership. Reach out today to get the process started.

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