Dealing with difficult customers

Thriving Under Fire


John Faisandier at Thriving Under Fire has been training people to deal with difficult people since 1999.  His unique approach to scenario-based learning and workshopping people's real-life experiences has helped many teams, managers, and front-line staff over the years prepare for when things go wrong.

John's training usually involves the learners sharing situations they've been in, reflecting on how they dealt with them and then practicing how they'd deal with similar situations in the future.   John uses a range of concepts, methodologies, and theories in his sessions which learners then apply to their situations. 

Whether it's learning to stay calm in conflict, staying safe, helping upset customers, recovering quickly, or not taking things personally - the Thriving Under Fire program has helped many people cope in difficult situations. 


The people you meet


One of John's clients in New Zealand is a large organisation with front-line staff who go  into people's homes to conduct interviews.  They can often face challenging situations with people who don't want to be interviewed, don't trust the organisation, or lack social skills. These customers can be belligerent or express strong beliefs and opinions that can be confrontational to the interviewers.   These difficult situations can have a negative impact on team members.  They cause stress with consequential mental health implications as well as becoming barriers to getting the work done. Lack of adequate training can cause high staff turnover and lead to significant costs in recruitment and training.  

Practicing scenarios has been a great way to prepare teams for these situations - the problem has been that these have generally only worked in a face to face or classroom situations.  Face-to-face sessions are effective for this kind of training but keeping the principles and practices top of mind in the workplace is a challenge.  

“I’m always looking for ways to reinforce the learning and help people apply what they learn to their work situations. I send regular refresher emails, and static visual scenarios but ShowHow has now revolutionized this process”


Practicing scenarios 


John used ShowHow to develop a series of challenging scenarios, designed to put learners in the kind of situations they can find themselves in, but from the safety of their mobile phones. They are given options on how to deal with an aggressive, inappropriate, or unreasonable respondent and they experience the responses they might get from those options. They receive feedback on decisions they make and suggestions on how else they might respond.   Following each scenario, John records a short teaching video to refresh the concepts and methodologies and explains how they apply in that particular situation. These scenarios give the learners an immersive experience where they can explore ways to deal with situations. They are reminded of the learning and how it applies in the particular scenario, which helps to embed the knowledge with more context. 


Surprisingly easy


John has made a very successful eLearning program that brings important elements of his workshop into the digital format. The TUF eLearning allows him to provide solely digital and blended learning options to clients and reach a greater audience than would otherwise be possible in face-to-face training. This generic program has produced good results for a wide range of sectors. But John wanted more. 

“The challenge was to reinforce the original learning and apply it to specific situations. The cost of tailoring the TUF eLearning modules for specific organizations can be high and that is where ShowHow became an excellent solution”. He said.

ShowHow has “filled the gap between eLearning and the real world. It's engaging and immersive, as well as  scalable and digital.”  

For John, the overhead of learning video editing, course authoring, and publishing on the standard eLearning tools had previously been too daunting. John's talents lie in dealing with people, not learning complex software. However, he found ShowHow very easy to use:

“I've now produced five immersive videos using ShowHow software. They reinforce the Thriving Under Fire training sessions done on de-escalation, managing emotions and keeping yourself safe in the face of angry and upset customers. My next set will be about having difficult conversations using the TUF principles. These video training sessions are surprisingly easy to plan, film and edit. All in quick time. I will continue to use ShowHow and offer these to clients.”


 We can’t wait to see what John comes up with next! 




Immersive learning platform

ShowHow is the all-in-one platform that makes it easy to create, and deliver, immersive learning experiences.

Get Started for Free