5 Quick Tips to Handle Angry and Frustrated Customers in a Contact Center


Did you know that as many as 91% of discontented customers walk away from a company and are lost forever? This is too huge a number to overlook for any business.

When you run a business that is focused on serving customers, complaints and problems form part of the job description. Consumers may be displeased for a variety of reasons, while some are justified, others are not! And, despite the fact that it is easy to tackle simple problems, angry and frustrated customers take a toll on your call center agent’s composure. After all, how they manage the next 5 minutes of the conversation will directly affect your business reputation and bottom line. Understanding the most common customer frustrations that every call center goes through is the first step in handling such aggravations.

The Agent’s Side of the Coin

You definitely cannot allow a single call to eat into the agent’s hourly efficiency and productivity. Take for instance a customer using profane and vulgar language. As ironic as it might sound, many agents look forward to such customers, because it gives them the power to terminate the calls. The industry standards include the protection of the reps from abuse and personal insults.

If you go ahead and encourage call termination, how does that impact your business? After you get past the angry tones, blasphemy and outrageous demands, you need to realize that these customers come back because they believe that your agents can fix the wrong. It is a chance that they are giving the company, because they are loyal customers.

Dealing with Irate Customers

When you lose a loyal customer, chances are that you will also lose out on potential customers. One individual will tell ten, and each of them will tell ten more such individuals. And the loss is all too simple to calculate! The agents should be trained to clam consumers quickly and effectively; and offer valuable solutions. Here are a few tips to resolve a tense situation and rectify errors.

  1. Listen it Out: Call termination is not an option. By responding forcefully, they will only aggravate the situation, and it is highly unlikely that a situation will be solved. Also, by listing carefully, the call center agent will be able to understand the extent and areas of dissatisfaction, and can take necessary steps.
  2. Show Care: When the opportunity arises for a response, the first expression must comprise of empathy and deep regret. When concern is expressed, it solves half the issue.
  3. Patience is a Virtue: While dealing with unreasonable customers, many agents find it difficult to keep their emotions under check. It is important not to take things personally. Being professional, cooperative and friendly will help make the customer also a little more reasonable.
  4. Refrain from Pointing Out the Customer’s Wrongdoing: Two negatives will never come out as positive in situations of customer engagement. A confrontation can only be calm when one party always remains positive.
  5. Speaking Softly: To an angry customer, tone of the agent’s voice is a very sensitive aspect of the call. Although confident, the tone and voice of the rep should be calm and soft at all times.

A pinch of understanding and a tablespoon of explanation of the error can result in a good recipe for customer service success in a contact center.