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5 Tips Your Agents Can Use When Dealing With Frustrated Callers

Dealing With Frustrated Callers

Your customer support team is bound to receive phone calls from frustrated callers. That’s just how things work when you are providing customer service.

It’s during these situations when your agent’s mettle is tested. Depending on how they manage the call, the caller can either end up even more disgruntled, or, they’ll end up as happy campers.

This guide will help improve your agent’s performance so the results you’ll achieve will end up being the latter.

Allow me to share with you 5 call handling tips that your agents can use when dealing with frustrated customers:

1. Listen and don’t interrupt

Sometimes, your agents might find it tempting to immediately retort at an upset customer in an attempt to solve things right off the bat. Inasmuch as we all want to speed things up, you must invest time in finding out what the problem is.

Once things are starting to heat up, take a step back and listen to the customer. Effective listening is the first step in trying to resolve a problem. Your customers need to feel that their problems are acknowledged and the first step in conveying this is by listening without any interruptions.

2. Distance yourself

Here’s an advice that most contact center agents take for granted… Don’t take it personally!

If anything, customers are not directly frustrated at the agent but rather, they are frustrated at the situation.

The best thing to do is to look at things in a bird’s-eye-perspective. It helps because once you distance yourself from the situation, emotions will not get in the way of how you handle things.

You can only deliver effective service once you know how to separate yourself from the problem and put more weight in your intention to help.

3. Repeat the customer’s concerns.

Train your agents to develop the habit of paraphrasing the customers’ concerns. This is an effective strategy because:

  • This will prove that your agents have been actively listening and acknowledging your customers’ concerns.
  • It gives the agents a chance to clarify the issue, or to sort out any ambiguity to see whether they are indeed addressing the real issue.
  • It gives the customers a sense of validation on their end.

4. Avoid putting your callers on hold.

Given the fact that your callers are already frustrated, try to avoid putting your them on hold.

A viable option is to employ the call-back solution, depending on the complexity of the problem. Aside from practicality, a call-back option secures the customer’s position of being attended to.

5. Smile while speaking.

You may be thinking that it is practically impossible to keep a smile on your face during this type of situation. But let me tell you this—body gestures will affect the way you interact with your customer.

Your desired outcome is to ease the tension. As much as possible, move the way you want your customers to hear you. Keeping a smile on your face will definitely lift off all the heaviness in the conversation. After all, your customer wouldn’t want to hear a confrontational tone from you.


Dealing with frustrated customers can be quite overwhelming, but with the proper approach, you can turn situations around in your company’s favor.

Are you looking for a team of customer service professionals who can help you with your business’s’ customer support? If you answered with a “yes”, then you can contact us using this form.

Photo courtesy – ©Fabio Balbi / Dollar Photo Club

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