how to handle angry customer calls call center
  • admin
  • Last Updated: 10 May 22
  • 14 min read

How to Handle Angry Customer Calls in a Call Center?

  • admin
  • Last Updated: 10 May 22
  • 14 min read

Are you a call center agent and looking for a solution to deal with angry customers on call?

You also know it is not easy to handle angry customer service calls. Different persons have different behavior.

This article helps you to answer and handle rude customers properly so that you may not lose your clients.

In this blog, you’ll know

Customer service representatives handle a variety of customers with a variety of complaints and situations.

Sometimes they can be humorous, and sometimes they are far from it.

Depending on the customer’s needs, call-center problems can range from an easy fix to a complex situations that may require additional time and effort.

It is no secret that customer service can be a difficult field of work. While modern call center technology has simplified and streamlined business processes, it may also make your interaction with customers more challenging.

That’s because call center managers or representatives frequently find themselves tangled up with angry customers and prickly problems. And failing to handle those with effectiveness can, many times, upset customers.

Depending on how you or call center representatives handle these interactions, you may either resolve the issue successfully or lose the customers forever. And in the latter case, you are going to miss out on a lot of revenue as well.

The importance of wisely handling angry customer calls

According to a recent study,

96% of consumers around the globe say they tend to choose loyalty to a brand based on the quality of the customer service they receive.

The same study reveals that one in three customers

(30%) believes the most critical aspect of customer service is speaking with a professional and friendly agent.

That means customers are likely to stay if they are treated well by a qualified and friendly representative.

In addition to loyalty, angry customers can be a risk for your company in terms of reputation. If an angry caller is not satisfied, their first step will be to leave a bad review or complain vociferously about social media.

So, knowing how to handle this type of situation properly is crucial as it leads to great customer satisfaction followed by more productivity and overall better results.

But before knowing how to handle angry customer service calls you must understand.

What are the personality types of angry customers?

Angry customers can show different characteristics and behaviors. Generally, there are four different personality types of irate customers.

Customer service representatives have to deal with angry customers each type in a different manner in order to help the customers. They have to use different phrases to tackle even the most difficult customers.

Let’s have a look.

1. Abusive

An abusive customer tends to speak with a high-pitched voice and inappropriate words. Even though the call center agent gets personal insults from the customers, it is their industry standard to handle such customers.

According to the rule, the agents have to warn the customer three times before hanging up the call.

They need to keep their cool and keep their emotional state in check while dealing with abusive customers. 

What to say to an Abusive customer?

  • I really understand your problem, Sir/Madam, however, the kind of language you are using is intolerable. 
  • I’m trying my very best to assist you with your problems, Sir/Madam…
  • You really seem to be very upset, Sir/Madam. For your convenience, would you like to continue our conversation via email or post?
  • I’m so sorry that you’re feeling upset, Sir/Madam. Would you like for us to call you back when you are feeling better?
  • I truly apologize, Sir/Madam, But if you continue to speak such inappropriate language, I will, unfortunately, will have to end our call.

2. Offloader

An offloader customer is someone who recently has faced some personal tension and tends to express anger towards the agent.

They usually amplify even the most minor complaints to release their mental pressure.

What to say to Offloader customers?

  • I’m extremely sorry that you are feeling this way, Sir/Madam, …
  • Alternatively, we can help you with …
  • May I suggest …?
  • What I can do right now for you is …
  • We truly appreciate your feedback, Sir/Madam, …

3. Legitimate Grievance

Legitimate grievance customers are those the company has failed to deliver its service. Sometimes the company misses their agreements that really impact the customers.

Agents taking calls from such customers tend to transfer the call to their team leader without delay. This type of incident could be a problem for businesses if the words go out on social media.

What to say to a Legitimate grievance customer?

  • Thank you very much, Sir/Madam, for telling us about such a mistake from our end, …
  • I’m truly sorry that you have to deal with this unfortunate event, Sir/Madam …
  • I totally understand how you are feeling right now, Sir/Madam…
  • I will do my best to solve this issue for you…

4. Thread-Making

The thread-making customer is someone who gives threads to the agent using physical intimation or emotional intoxication.

Agents need to keep calm and not overreact to such threats. Even with the threads, agents have to fully commit to giving solutions to such customers.

What to say to the thread-making customers?

  • I am extremely sorry for the inconvenience you have to face, Sir/Madam…
  • Will you excuse me for a moment, Sir/Madam, I am going to look for a solution to your problem.
  • I highly recommend that [your recommendation], Sir/Madam, so that we can take further action as quickly as possible.
  • I am more than delighted to assist you, Sir/Madam…

How to Handle Angry customer in call Center?

It is imperative that you master the art of handling angry and disgruntled customers in order to avoid negativity.

Here are 12 tips that can help you to deal with angry customer calls on the phone in call center or BPO with ease;

1. Never take things personally

The first thing to do is remember that the angry customers are expressing their concerns about the company you represent and not you personally.

Call center agents can often feel they are personally attacked when defining what causes a client’s dissatisfaction.

In many cases, they are mad because of the situation they find themselves in.

You, as an initial point of contact with irate customers, should always aim for customer satisfaction regardless of the situation.

👉 Read Also: 12 Important Call Center Skills Every Agent Should Have

When you understand that you should not take the client’s anger personally, it makes it easy to focus on and address their underlying concerns.

2. Use the right tone of voice

If you are dealing with an angry caller, the tone of your voice can make all the difference.

Make sure your tone is appropriate and that the situation is under control.

You need to take a deep breath and be sympathetic to their point of view to be able to understand them. Also, take the time to apologize whenever necessary.

This will help to show that you take the situation seriously.

3. Adjust your mindset

When things seem to be falling apart one after another during an already difficult day, it is hard to listen to another unhappy caller. That’s why you must keep things in perspective.

Put yourself in their shoes. Think about how you would react if you had to go through a similar situation. It makes a big difference to show a little empathy to the caller.

By doing so, you will be able to focus 100% of your attention on the customer to provide a quick solution with great service.

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Not only will this make the customer happy and reduce some of their stress, but it will also improve the customer service because customers will feel that you are more concerned about them and their problems.

4. Choose the right words/phrases

When it comes to calming irate or angry customers, your agents’ skillful use of language could be very important. Use phrases like “I’m so sorry that you feel this way”, “As a solution…”, “We really do appreciate this feedback”, etc.

Don’t take your time to apologize and hold your cool under pressure. Customers with legitimate complaints have a justifiable basis for being annoyed with your company.

You must acknowledge the wrongs and take them seriously. For this reason, the language used should be sympathetic and apologetic.

5. Listen and let the customer talk

In order to handle angry callers, be empathic towards them and listen carefully to what they are saying.

The caller may speak in a louder voice because of frustration. In response, provide the caller a chance to express their frustration.

The right agent listens, takes notes, and does not get angry while solving the issue. Listen to the entire story without interrupting before answering.

It’s a good idea to take notes and let the person speak whenever possible because it can be difficult to catch what they are saying. In a nutshell, use your ears more than your mouth.

6. Don’t put them on hold

Customer service agents usually place an angry customers on hold, believing they can calm them down while on hold.

Contrary to common belief, this is not the case. A long hold time will instead escalate the situation, creating more frustration for the caller.

Most customers believe they are put on hold so that the representative does not have to handle their issue.

Even if it isn’t true, a caller’s imagination during wait time has enough time to think of negative reasons for being on hold.

Instead of putting them on hold, use this time to explain to them how you intend to handle the situation.

7. Use scripts

You probably have call scripts to provide positive and highly personalized interactions during routine customer service calls.

Almost every call center representative follows the scripts while dealing with the customers, but none of them uses a script to handle an angry call.

👍 You may also like: Benefit of Having Customized Greeting for Voicemails

In fact, a pre-written script might just be easier and more helpful to reconcile situations while dealing with irate customers.

Being able to respond appropriately to angry callers as part of customer service. Thus, following a script gives you a greater chance of delivering the right message.

8. Sympathize and Apologize

Apologizing 🙏 makes a big difference. Therefore, it’s very important that you apologize to customers when something unexpected happens.

While dealing with angry customers, it is important to reassure them that you understand their concerns and are deeply sorry that the issue occurred.

As a result, they will feel validated and calm down. Demonstrating the validity of their concerns will help you resolve the situation faster, and you’ll also help them understand that you’re not the cause of the problem.

Remember that even if it is not your fault, it is imperative that you apologize because you are representing the company, and you are apologizing on their behalf.

9. Offer a solution 🎁

A call center agent should always stay focused on helping customers with their problems. By redirecting the conversation back to critical issues, agents must provide constructive solutions to their problems.

It is often sufficient to gain the acceptance and appreciation of angry clients when you demonstrate that you are open to finding the best solution while dealing with difficult cases instead of giving up after discovering their issue.

10. Return to the main points

When agents return to the points that matter, it may be easier to deescalate angry conversations and help callers discover solutions to their problems.

It is extremely important to let the angry caller know that you are on their side when they have finished their talk.

To do this, apologize for the issue, show empathy, and summarize their main points. As a result, they will feel that you are listening to them, allowing them to calm down a little.

11. Follow up

Make sure to take down the customer’s information as soon as you’ve offered the solution and taken the necessary actions to fix the problem.

After that, follow up within two days to ensure the solution you offered the customer was indeed satisfactory.

Although this may not calm the customers at the moment, it will motivate them to return since they know that you’ll get the job done quickly and correctly and will check back to make sure it has been done.

12. Implement a good technology

Apart from the above-mentioned tips, using technology can help agents better handle customer calls. Nowadays, technology offers a solution to every problem. This includes dealing with angry and displeased customers.

For example, call center software tools with live monitoring and call recording features are beneficial for managers to guide agents on how to effectively handle angry customers with the right tone of voice.

The tool can also be used to proactively provide solutions and resolve their problem. You can use a skill-based routing feature for better productivity and fast solutions.

Thanks to this feature, your customers will be intelligently routed to the agent who can answer their inquiries.

How do respond to angry customer calls in different customer service scenarios?

As an agent, you will come across different kinds of scenarios where you need to respond accordingly while talking with an angry customer.

You need to speak the right phrases in order not to increase the anger of the customer. Here are some of the scenarios.

Scenario 1: You have no answer to their query.

Sometimes you will not know the answer to the question customer is asking. This shouldn’t let you down as an agent. However, you should not respond to the customer with something like “I don’t know”.

Response:

“Great question, let me find that out for you right now!”

Scenario 2: Unavailable item

There are times when the item customer is asking for is not available at the moment. Telling the angry customer the product is not available could end up wrong so the agents should use positive language to answer such questions.

Response: 

“The [product/service] will actually be available [when]. I can assist you by placing the order for you right now and make sure to [deliver the product/provide the service] to you as soon as possible.”

Scenario 3: Transfer customer’s call

As an agent, your job is to give the best solution to the customer. For that reason, you might need to transfer the call to another department to better help the customer.

Response:

“My sincere apologies, but I will  have to transfer your call to [department name] to help you with your problem.”

Scenario 4: Defects with the product received by the customer

Not all customers will end up getting the product in good condition. Sometimes customers may receive defective products which could dishearten them. Especially if this happens with an angry customer, the conversation will not go as planned for the agent.

Response:

“We are extremely sorry about that. It’s really disappointing even for us to deliver such a faulty product. The product may have been damaged during the manufacturing process or shipping process.

Can I replace the defective product with a non-defective one for you right away?”

Conclusion

Interacting with angry callers is part of the job for any customer service representative.

The ability to deal with these difficult interactions effectively can have a huge impact on your company’s reputation and the customer’s experience with you.

Through the use of these techniques, you can not only improve customer service but also reduce handling times.

And if you are in need of technology with appropriate features that can help you deal with angry customers more effectively, give KrispCall a try.

admin

Head of Content @ KrispCall (or, in plain English, I'm the guy responsible for ensuring that every blog post we publish is EPIC).

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