What's the hardest part about serving customers

Dealing with Difficult Customers: 5 Types of Customers

These 5 unpopular customer types are not uncommon

In retail you meet a lot of people every day. Unfortunately, cashiers or salespeople often get everything in their daily work that customers usually cannot get rid of elsewhere. They serve as an outlet for pent-up feelings. One or the other customer can drive you crazy.

We have good news! There are ways to tackle difficult clients in business while staying professional. In this post we have compiled the 5 most difficult customer types in retail and show you ways and strategies to deal with them.

The aggressive customer

This customer is bullying, loud and angry, for you as a seller it is definitely the most unpleasant type. As a rule, aggressive people are just insecure and try to cover this up with their anger.

  • Do not let these customers disturb you in any way and make sure your voice is relaxed. In the vast majority of cases, this type and failure has absolutely nothing to do with you, but with the inner attitude of the customer. Avoid getting sarcastic and don't let customers feel your frustration. Easier said than done, right. The important thing is that you don't have to put up with everything. Set your limits and react accordingly when they are exceeded.

The know-it-all customer

"However, I read that ...". This customer always knows better and doesn't really want to recognize you as a specialist.

As a rule, there is a great need for recognition behind the facade. So the best thing you can do is to keep confirming the various customers' assumptions and not teaching them better. These difficult customers in retail have no nerve for that anyway, and that's not what it's about. This is how you can quickly get them to your side and who knows - maybe even a nice conversation will ensue.

The time consuming customer

Tick, tock --- these retail customers like to talk a lot and want to keep the conversation going artificially. This can sometimes be a bit of a nuisance in a stressful business day.

Try to politely break the customer's monologue. If the customer has trouble making a decision, show them several alternatives and help them find the right solution to their problem. If it doesn't work at all and another customer is already waiting, then politely tell him that you will be there for him again in a moment and collect the other customers first. Maybe he doesn't feel like waiting and just keeps looking around the store.

The grouch customer

"Is the cheeseburger also available without cheese?" Or "You really don't have that gray shirt in L anymore?" It is very difficult for these types of customers to get something right. Sometimes you can get the feeling that these customers are looking for you to find out what is not in the range.

These customers usually have many special requests and can strain your patience. Try not to appear annoyed and show the customer alternatives to their special requests. In this way, you may still be able to convince the customer that your range has a lot of surprises in store.

The shy customer

These customers are arguably the most pleasant on this list because they just need a little nudge to get out of themselves.

Try to be open-minded and warm without surprising the customer with an overly open manner. Make the customer feel that you are not pressed for time and that you will take the time to understand their concerns.


Of course, the customer in retail is not black or white, but usually much more complex or a hybrid of the types presented. This article is only intended to provide a brief overview of the somewhat more difficult customers in retail that we know of and to divide them into different behavioral patterns.

In the end, the most strenuous customers are often the most valuable, because through them we can learn to question our own products and see them from new perspectives. If you listen carefully to them, it can become your competitive advantage.

In our advanced article you will learn how you can get more customers into your business.

Customers are not only satisfied by an individual approach, but especially by a great shopping experience. The Tillhub POS system offers the possibility to give even the most difficult types in retail a special sales experience. It supports advice and enables customers to pay quickly and intuitively.

Find out now about the right POS solution for all types of customers!