Inbound Call Center: Dealing with Angry Customers

August 21st, 2011

In the customer service industry, handling irate customers is not an easy task; it requires resilience, patience and a lot of mental strength on the part of inbound call center agents.


Assume that the customer has the right to be angry. In an inbound call center, the customer may be angry because he or she made incorrect assumptions that led to improper expectations. Regardless of the circumstances, acknowledge the customer has the privilege to be irate. Listen carefully to how the anger is expressed so you can find the root cause of the emotion.


Listen to emotion without emotion. Listen to the emotion as well as the words. This will help you to identify the specific item or items that need primary attention. But do not respond with emotion. Remember that the customer anger is not directed at you personally, even if the customer language is directed at you.


Be patient. When the customer is at the peak of expressing anger, be patient and listen. Always remember that it’s not effective to interrupt them. Reiterate your compassion; acknowledge the customer right to be angry and the catalyst for the emotional distress. Takes quiet deep breaths and wait patiently for your turn to speak.


Solve the issue. Correct the issue for the specific customer and also look for long term corrective measures. It may be appropriate to reassure the customer that you will be available to assist in the event that another different problem should occur again.


Follow up. Demonstrating compassion and attentiveness after a problem has been resolved is a powerful message to show that you really do care about the individual customer. This follow-up after the anger has subsided and the corrective action has been demonstrated as effective may be enough to retain loyal customers and earn a few new ones.



7 Responses to “Inbound Call Center: Dealing with Angry Customers”

  1. chairman23 says:

    In dealing with irate customers, first you have to empathize with them. listen to their woes. An agent must understand that the customer is not angry on you. They might be angry on the service(s) they got. An effective process would be, listen, empathize, identify and resolve.

  2. Savanna says:

    We see our customers as invited guests to a party, and we are the hosts. It’s our job every day to make every important aspect of the customer experience a little bit better.

  3. Chris says:

    “Thanks to our customers, we turned a potentially disastrous mistake into a great opportunity.” ~ Michael Dell
    Key note:LISTEN!

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