Handling Difficult Situations


Handling Difficult Situations (HDS)

Providing a framework for managing challenging conversations.

For those in a service, helpdesk, or customer-facing role, handling difficult situations and conversations is a normal part of the role. As the first point of contact, being able to lower tension, understand their situation, and provide a resolution or next steps is an essential part of customer care.

The Handling Difficult Situations (HDS) program provides a framework, a simple, logical, step-by-step process to help you communicate with your customers and handle any difficult conversation/complaint, allowing you to show empathy at every stage of your conversation.

The framework will support the challenging customer conversations you face when dealing with a customer issue/complaint. The program builds confidence in owning the customer issues and taking responsibility for finding the right solution/outcome. Participants will use techniques to recognize customer emotions, help reassure them, and focus the conversation on what they can do and why.

This modular course is based on more than 20 years of quantitative, qualitative, and field-based CX research. It forms part of Imparta’s 3D CX Curriculum, which helps CX and Service professionals deliver a differentiated customer experience based on Imparta’s Customer Conversational Model.

This highly interactive program develops lasting skills and CX techniques through a comprehensive set of simulated activities, application, and real-life exercises, tools, and reinforcement techniques within Imparta’s continuous improvement ecosystem.


Course Overview

Key training topics include:

  • Be able to identify, acknowledge and own the issue through to resolution.
  • Know a couple of techniques for managing the customer through the process and apply the right techniques at the right time.
  • Be able to recognise and acknowledge customer emotions.
  • Use the 8-step framework to be able to gather the right insight & information, and influence the right outcome whilst maintaining trust in you and not creating detractors.
  • Identifying the key steps within the complaint experience, providing you with the opportunity to resolve more complaints at FPOC.
  • Know when to escalate and be able to action a warm handoff when escalating so the customer feels it is a seamless experience.


The Handling Difficult Situations™ training program will help to enhance NPS/CSAT results.

It will help you focus on key metrics that include:

  • NPS
  • CSAT
  • Customer Effort
  • Productivity & Efficiency
  • Loyalty and customer retainment

Eight Steps to Managing a Difficult Conversation

This is an example concept from the Handling Difficult Situations program, which can be delivered in eLearning and instructor-led formats.

who is the account management programme for

Who Is It For?

This program is suitable for those who deliver service interactions to B2B or B2C customers with a need to differentiate the conversations to create a positive customer experience and resolve customer issues & challenges in a structured customer-centric approach.

The course is designed for both inbound and outbound service roles, helpdesk, and any customer-facing role.

Multiple formats

Formats and Duration

The program is part of Imparta’s CX modular curriculum.

It is available as:

  • eLearning (full modules, plus individual assets that can be embedded into playbooks).
  • A 2-day instructor-led face-to-face workshop.
  • 4 four-hour virtual instructor-led sessions.
  • Flipped learning where the classroom is used to focus on application.
  • Modules that can be combined with other courses.

The program also includes competency definitions, application tools, measurement and reinforcement tools, including nudge questions and manager coaching guides to make the new skills stick.

application tools for account management

Application Tools

Application tools (Canvases) are available in print, editable PDF, and Excel versions.

The Canvases help attendees to embed their new skills, and to apply them to delivering a differentiated service experience to improve NPS, CSAT, and customer loyalty.

Explore the modules


Unlocking Account Potential

Impact: All

Understand what an account strategy is, and how it can be mapped onto the Plan/Do/Review cycle to drive world-class Account Management for both large and small accounts, as well as channel partners. Focus on questions and insight rather than data collection and process.


Mapping the Account

Impact: Share of Wallet; Number of Leads

Create a living strategic map of the account, mapping out the different Buying Centres to understand the business they are currently doing with your company, what they think of you, and where any opportunities and threats might lie. Use this to decide what approach you will take with each Buying Centre.


How to Compete: Partnership

Impact: All

Assess the overall level of partnership within this account, based on the investment being made by the customer and you as the supplier. Correct any misalignment, including taking actions to increase the level of partnership if appropriate.


How to Compete: Performance

Impact: Share of Wallet; Win Rate; Renewal Rate

Understand how customers assess your company’s performance, including the key elements of customer health. Use the Health Map to identify the customer’s perception of how well things are going in each area of the Account Gameboard, and create strategies to improve both the perception and the reality.


How to Compete: Profitability

Impact: Margin

Be able to estimate a Profit & Loss (or Income) Statement for a specific account. Understand the most common problems that affect account profitability, and be able to use logic and creativity to improve account profitability.


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