Here’s how call center agents can handle angry customers

January 18, 2019

The negative stereotypes about working in a call center are often exaggerated, but one thing is true: agents are confronted with angry customers on a daily basis.

Dealing with angry customers on the phone is definitely not for the faint-hearted. However, failing to handle these unpleasant situations effectively can easily result in losing customers for good. So, there is no choice but to try and address customers’ issues as best you can.

In this article, we’ve collected the most important things you should consider when dealing with angry customers. Find out how you can not only handle them successfully but also turn them into happy customers.

Remain calm

Sure, talking to an angry customer on the phone is never pleasant. And if that wasn’t enough, upset customers tend to say things on the phone they’d never say in person.

In such heated situations, it’s all too easy to lose patience. Still, you need to remind yourself that your job is to keep customers satisfied, so you really need to try and prevent the situation from escalating.

In fact, your best chance of resolving a customer issue effectively is by trying to remain calm at all times, so instead of losing your nerves, take a deep breath and concentrate solely on solving the problem.

Stay positive

Angry customers often lose control and start yelling at call center agents. It’s only natural that in such situations the first thing you’ll want to do is to defend yourself.

However, if you respond to them in a similarly aggressive way, that will only make things even worse. Instead, make sure to stay positive, and offer positive advice rather than criticism.

Furthermore, as we already talked about in a previous article, empathy can make all the difference when dealing with angry customers.

Remember, most customers only lose their temper in the heat of the moment, and if you respond to them with positivity, chances are they’ll reconsider the situation and some of them may even apologize.

Add personalization

These days, customer service is about speed and convenience. However, in many situations customers are still required to repeat information again and again when contacting customer service departments. If customers feel they are only another cog in the wheel, chances are they’ll lose their patience, especially if they’re angry in the first place.

However, it is now possible to track and refer to existing customers’ purchasing history in seconds. Don’t miss out on this great opportunity to add some personalization to conversations by, for example, greeting customers by their names and inquiring about a previous issue to see if it has occurred again since then.

You’ll see that the personal touch will definitely help you calm down even the angriest customers.

Offer compensation

It is essential for businesses to acknowledge their mistakes and act on them accordingly. Therefore, offering compensation to angry customers is always a good idea, especially if they are returning customers.

So, if your company policy allows it, offer customers a refund or voucher when it is appropriate. And if it’s against your company’s policy, consider suggesting the idea to management. In a call center it is difficult to stand out from the crowd, so this is the perfect chance to make your voice heard.

Never take things personally

When dealing with an angry customer, the most difficult thing is not to take it personally. Of course, no one likes to be yelled at and it’s only natural that in such situations you may feel deeply offended.

However, the important thing is to try not to be affected by an angry call, but always remind yourself that the most important task is for you to maintain customer satisfaction.

Also, remember that it is not you that is making the customer angry, but the situation they are experiencing. Never take a customer’s anger personally or let their irritation ruin the rest of your day.

Don’t be afraid to ask for help

As already mentioned, customers nowadays expect agents to resolve their issues in no time at all. If you can do that, that’s great, as it is definitely the most effective way to calm down an angry customer.

However, even the most experienced agents can get into a situation where they simply cannot find the solution to a problem. In such cases, it is better to ask for help than wasting your caller’s time.

Alternatively, as customers do not like to be put on hold, it may be a good idea to offer them a callback, so that you can research the problem and then let them know the solution.

Knowing how to handle angry customers effectively can greatly increase the quality of your company’s customer experience. Make sure you follow our tips and start making angry customers happy again.

More resources on keeping customers happy

If you’re looking to improve customer satisfaction, be sure to check out these posts as well:

What customers value most in their experience
Customer satisfaction measurement methods that are key to your business
How to build customer rapport for your telesales business

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