Managing Challenging Customer Behaviour


In some jobs, employees will find themselves managing emotionally-charged customer interactions on a regular basis. Having a sound understanding of the reasons for challenging customer behaviour, how to manage and de-escalate that behaviour, and how to look after yourself in the process, is essential for safe and effective responses in challenging customer situations.

Our Managing Challenging Customer Behaviour workshop, typically conducted over 2-3 hours, will equip participants with the skills and knowledge to understand and respond to challenging customer behaviour. Based on strong theoretical underpinnings and teachings, the course also offers participants the chance to observe and practice best response models.

The workshop can be delivered on-site at your convenience, and is typically conducted in small groups of up to 15 staff members. Our workshops are facilitated by professional, experienced and degree-qualified mental health professionals, with expertise in corporate training.

Key Workshop Components


  • Common causes of difficult customer behaviour
  • How to effectively respond to highly emotive customer interactions
  • How to de-escalate interactions with angry or aggressive customers
  • How to respond to customers presenting with mental health concerns
  • Maintaining your own safety and wellbeing
Key Workshop Outcomes
  • Improved understanding of factors contributing to challenging behaviour.
  • Ability to recognise how challenging behaviour might be related to significant mental health issues.
  • Awareness of physiological and psychological responses to stress.
  • Skills to stay calm and respond effectively to highly emotive customer interactions.
  • Strategies for assertive communication, with a focus on “I Statements”.
  • Specific guidance on appropriate ways to respond to customers experiencing serious mental illness.
  • Tips to de-escalate interactions with angry or aggressive customers.
  • Strategies to improve self-care and wellbeing.

This course regularly achieves promoter scores of over 95% from cohorts of 80-100 staff. Contact us to find out how we can empower your staff to achieve personal wellbeing married with excellence in customer service.

Participants comments:

“Very useful training. Should be done by all Council employees”, Chris Corby, Bayside Council

“Enjoyable and felt productive to my work role”

“Sherisse was very good at delivering and articulating the workshop, and everyone walked away with a deeper understanding of how to manage conflict and behaviour”, Chloe Feris, MWP Care.

“I really appreciated this training and found it very helpful, thank you!”

“Excellent, calm presenter, so helpful and informative, learned so much”

“Very informative and instructional training with practical tips to follow”

“Really good, high impact”

Complementary Offerings

Other workshops that we offer that may be relevant to workplaces in which challenging customer interactions are prevalent include: Mental Health AwarenessBuilding ResilienceCommunication Skills and Preventing Vicarious Trauma.

Contact us today to see how we can tailor our workshop to assist your staff.

Contact us today to discuss your Corporate Workshop needs.

“What fantastic training provided on mental health in the workplace and the importance of educating and empowering our staff on this topic. The team thoroughly enjoyed the workshop which was engaging and lead by the fantastic Katherine Wagner. Thank you Associated EAP.”

Philip Divilly, Managing Director, Quay Appointments

“We have done several training programs with Associated Employee Assistance Providers and have always found the service and consultation of an extremely high standard.”

Toni Williams, L&D Consultant, Sydney Opera House

“Katherine presented to our team of 40 staff at our annual staff symposium and it was absolutely fantastic. Katherine was engaging and really helped all staff members relate better to each other. We were so impressed we wanted her back for a conference of 150 medical practice managers which also went really well. Very happy with the resources provided by Associated Employee Assistance Providers who helped arranged both the above plus follow up articles. Highly recommended.”

Lucy Peters, Practice Managers Chair, Royal Australian & NZ College of Ophthalmologists

“Effective and caring advice delivered in an easy to digest method.”

Stephanie Hunt, Human Resources Consultant - Storyful

Let us tailor an Employee Support package for your business