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Dealing With Angry Customers in Customer Service - Livesalesman - Blog

Dealing With Angry Customers in Customer Service

Customers come in several forms. While some might have a pretty good idea of what they want others might need guidance. In other cases, customers are simply angry right from the moment they picked up the phone. Hence, the job of the outsourced customer support representative becomes impossible. First, he must calm the customer’s nerves if he wants a realistic chance of discussing anything on its merits.

A fair amount of customers a call center agent speaks to would be this way. Why? They probably picked up the phone because there is a problem with the product or service of the business. If that doesn’t make them angry, the circumstances of their everyday life would do the trick.

So, whether you are an Outsourced Call Center Services provider or a business with an in-house call centre, the importance of dealing with this category of customers cannot be overstated. The following are some of the ways to deliver the best customer service without getting into a fight with the customer.

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Expect It

People generally react rashly in circumstances they aren’t prepared for. If you think most of the customers you speak to would be of good conduct, then you’re in for a scary surprise. Call center outsourcing companies hold specially training and mock sessions that are intended to prepare agents to handle situations where in many customers are already irritated before picking up the phone. Hence, this reduces the tendency to react harshly to the customer.

Understand That It’s Not Personal

While it might seem like the customers are consciously taking shots at call center reps, this cannot be farther from the truth. As stated earlier, customers are angry because something is wrong with the product or service rendered or in their lives. Consequently, it is important to recognize that it’s not personal warfare.

Understanding where the customer is coming from puts things in the right perspective. You immediately focus on identifying with the client’s needs rather than engaging in endless banter. Also, this is a precursor to solving the client’s problems.

Apologize Without Thinking

You can never go wrong with apologizing. This is largely due to its disarming effect on the customer’s ego. The customer probably picked up the phone expecting a fight. To be immediately met by an apology changes the narrative of the conversation.

Good customer service agents understand that saying sorry to the customer has nothing to do with right or wrong. Running successful businesses means keeping the client happy. Hence, you must be willing to put aside your personal ego in attending to the customer’s needs, something outsourced customer care service providers understand very well.

Let Them Vent

An angry customer more often than not simply wants a listening voice. Unfortunately, agents of customer service outsourcing companies are the easiest target for the customer’s venting. If you try to talk back at the customer while he is telling his story, you would only escalate the client’s temper.

The better approach would be to listen to the client while he tells his story. Ignore the tone of the manner of the story but focus on solving the customer’s problems. If you take this route, you would discover two things. First, as soon as the customer gets out all his grievances he becomes easier to talk to. Second, the story would reveal the client’s biases and innermost needs.

Provide Solutions

A customer service agent should be solution driven and nothing calms a customer’s nerves better than answered questions or problems solved. They take time to listen through the anger then identify the customer’s problems. Consequently, the client is provided with solutions to those problems.

In providing solutions, it is important to communicate your opinion about the problems to the customer. Subsequently, the client should be provided with multiple options where possible. If you outsource customer support, make sure that you give in-depth training to your agents on your product or services in the call centre outsourcing company else they will not be able to provide satisfactory solution to your customers.

Prioritize Honesty

As a customer service agent, you want to win every customer over with every phone call. However, the reality of life dictates that you cannot provide answers to every question. While you might be tempted to make up an answer, this might not be the best approach for an angry customer or any customer at all.

If you provide false answers to an angry customer, he’ll be angrier the next time he calls. Also, whatever goodwill you have garnered with such a customer is immediately lost. The better approach would be to be straight with the customer regarding his problems. You should then inform the customers of alternative solutions to ease his pains. If you use outsourced call centre service provider, make sure that they follow the same approach with your customers.

Use the Name

Providing world-class customer service requires going an extra mile for your customer. This including knowledge of the personal details of the customer, including the name. Calling a customer by his or her first name makes the conversation personal. It gives a subtle hint to the customer that you care about his problems.

Ask Clarifying Questions

This might be a risky tactic but would work on the right customer. The trick is gauging how angry the customer is before asking clarifying questions. If the customer is receptive to the question, it’s a quick way to defuse the situation. Reps of customer service outsourcing companies get extensive training on how to execute this properly.

Be Assertive

There are instances where all the approaches mentioned above would simply not produce a positive result. Why? The customer might be simply unreasonable. In this case, the best approach is to stand your ground. This is especially so when the customer is verbally abusive.

To de-escalate while being assertive, communicate your views to the customer in a soft tone. Do otherwise and he/she assumes you are ready for a fight.

The Right Approach

All we have disclosed so far is elaborate points but they can be summed up with simple psychological ideas used by experienced outsourced call centre Services providers are expressed below:

  • Listen – pay attention to the customer’s words and never interject when the client is venting his anger.
  • Agree with the customer’s problem – this gives assurances to the customer that his problems are valid and they’ll most likely be solved.
  • Act – take conscious steps to solve the customer’s problems.
  • Be grateful – thank the customer for sharing the problem and give positive affirmations to what they say.
  • Explain the solution – the customer wants to know that you would solve his problems but more importantly how you would solve it.

At LiveSalesMan, we have years of experience and expertise in handling customer relations and psychology. If you are looking for Inbound call centre services to outsource customer support, get in touch with us today.


Publish Date: January 25, 2019

2021 Buyers Guide Knowledge Management


Combines knowledge management with call support as continue improvement.

eGain Corporation

eGain Knowledge + AI
eGain's knowledge management software, powered with Case-Based Reasoning, an Artificial Intelligence technology, lets you provide intranet or extranet access to the common knowledge base, enabling contact center agents to provide distinctive, productive, and brand-aligned experiences in every interaction, across all channels and touchpoints.

eGain Corporation

eGain Knowledge + AI
eGain Knowledge+AI™, the top-rated, analyst-awarded knowledge management software, guarantees quality customer service by infusing your customer service agents with knowledge, making all agents as productive as your best ones. By providing agents and other users a range of ways to get to information from the common knowledge base, it ensures fast, consistent, and accurate answers.


FuzeDigital offers an affordable yet comprehensive knowledge base to answer your consumers' and staff questions. When assistance is needed, our email management system ensures your timely and accurate delivery of responses. Used by companies large and small that seek to deflect common questions while providing exceptional support.


Happitu is your customer support team’s personal coach. It guides your team through every interaction with custom workflows, responsive scripting, and dynamic help topics.

Documentation in Happitu is automated, detailed, and consistent. Go beyond handle times and service levels with the rich insights of Happitu – from granular interaction data to aggregate data and trends – you get the complete CX journey!

We intentionally built the Happitu Workflow Designer with your customer support team in mind. Using our intuitive tools that provide quick and safe iteration, you eliminate the need to involve IT or Development. Yes, you will no longer have to dread submitting a change request to Devin from IT!

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Knowmax is a knowledge management software for enterprises. Customer service of any organization can leverage this tool to create, curate & distribute the knowledge at assisted as well as digital channels promoting self service.


Knowledge Management software
livepro are experts in Customer Experience Knowledge Management and are passionate about improving customer experience. livepro is feature-rich yet easy to use, delivering answers to agents – not long complex documents to dig through. This makes customer service quicker, easier and more efficient. Staff require next to no training on complex procedures thanks to livepro’s intuitive design, which brings confidence up and training costs down.


ProcedureFlow is a step by step visual guide that supports agents as they navigate company processes. With a knowledge management solution that simplifies complex information, employees can spend less time searching and focus on what they do best. ProcedureFlow’s simple and intuitive platform enables contact centers to quickly and easily create, maintain, and update company processes in real time. With ProcedureFlow, teams can work more efficiently, better serve customers, and drive results that matter most to their business.


Knowledge is your company's most valuable asset. An intelligent Knowledge Base can harness that asset, supporting your customers and empowering your agents.

Purpose-built with your users in mind, the knowledge base stores all information your customers need and search for, from policies to product details. Integral to CX, an intelligent knowledge base allows customers the freedom to self-serve whilst delivering them great results at their convenience.

Internally, the centralised knowledge base equips your employees with all the knowledge they require to assist customers, enhancing not only the way agents work, but the impact on CSAT.

Knowledge can be seamlessly integrated with your customer service tools to ensure complete coherence of information, even when it's updated.

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