customerPowerful Tool for Working in Challenging Customer Situations




By Richard S. Gallagher
Amacom, 188 pages, $17.95

Richard Gallagher has written an indispensable guide for anyone working with customers in his book The Customer Service Survival Kit. Gallagher begins his book with a powerful “Uh-Oh” moment scenario; a scenario that probably every reader will be able to relate to. This powerful example (and recovery) sets the stage for how a reader can benefit from Gallagher’s insight. The book displays bulleted-lists of tips and suggestions and plenty of highlighted text boxes with additional critical information. Part II of the book contains nine chapters with different tools for diffusing a customer situation that has gone awry. There are “Put Learning into Practice” pages that ask the reader to answer questions and take their learning a bit deeper, too. The solutions are at the back of the book.  And there are tons of examples of specific words and phrases to help when posed with a challenging customer situation. Finally, in Part III, Gallagher solves the worst customer scenarios such as “Don’t you know who I am?” of “I’ll be suing you”.

“Lean into what someone else is saying, and embrace the person’s criticism–with gusto–every time he or she speaks.”


The Customer Service Survival Kit is a practical, no-nonsense approach to challenging customer service scenarios. This book is invaluable to anyone working in customer service. It would also be ideal to use as a training tool when teaching others about how to handle customer service challenges. This is a book you will refer to time and time again as an essential resource for working with customers.

Reviewed by Seniye Groff

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