How to Effectively Handle Angry Customers in the Call Center

    Dealing with angry customers is something that even the best call center teams have to navigate. It may not be the most comfortable situation to handle. But there are benefits to dealing with unhappy customers and valuable lessons that will benefit your call center in the long term.

    Wondering how to deal with irate customers? Here are some helpful tips for resolving issues with unhappy customers.   

    New call-to-action

    Why is it Important to Deal with Difficult Customers? 

    Dealing with upset customers may not be the best part of a call center agent’s day. But agents must know how to deal with contentious issues as professionally as possible. Why? Because of the importance of customer retention and your reputation. It’s imperative always to maintain your call center’s integrity, even in stressful situations. Other reasons why agents must handle irate customers include:  

    • It can turn around the situation to retain the customer. Customers primarily want to be heard. They want to know that their opinions and feelings have merit. By acknowledging their feelings and helping find solutions, you prove your commitment to customer service. And this is important because 93% of customers are likely to make repeat purchases with companies that offer excellent customer service.  
    • Helps to highlight business areas that might need review/further training/updates. This is a huge reason to take stock of customer complaints. If there are multiple complaints about the same problem, it may mean that more attention is needed to solve the problem. Analyzing and recording these issues can help your call center team pinpoint training tools and processes that need improvement.  
    • Helps call center managers to identify the tools and procedures to deal with similar issues in the future. The lessons learned from handling irate customers can be valuable for the entire team. Has more than one customer complained about a particular process? If so, take note. These conflicts help establish better workflows and plans that will help your call center team avoid these situations in the future.  

    How do you Deal with Angry Customers? 

    Once you understand the importance of conflict resolution with your customers, you can identify ways to deal with angry customers. These seven tips will help your call center team resolve issues and improve processes no matter the situation or severity.  

    Tip #1: Stay calm. Staying calm is essential for controlling both the situation and your feelings. Aim for a calming tone of voice, and don’t forget to breathe. Believe it or not, high-stress conditions can cause people to hold their breath involuntarily. This can lead to increased heart rates and elevated stress levels, making an uncomfortable situation even worse. Try to remember to take several deep, slow breaths during the conversation. 

    Tip #2: Be patient. Customers are not always patient. This is especially true for those who are angry. Showing patience with them will lead to a smoother call and quicker resolution.  

    Tip #3: Listen carefully. Ensure you have the details of the story correct to act appropriately. Also, make sure to ask for their names. Addressing them more personally and sincerely will help quickly smooth things over. Remember, most customers need to get these issues off their chests. Once they can voice their concerns, they will be more open to finding a solution.  

    Tip #4: Reflect on their story. The caller must know that they have been listened to. When you summarize their issues and share them back, it shows you’ve heard what they had to say. Here are a few sentence starters that will help show that you’ve listened: 

    • “I understand your concerns.”  
    • “I hear what you are saying.”  
    • “Thank you for sharing your concerns with me.”  
    • “I am going to do all that I can to fix these issues.”  

    Tip #5: Try not to get caught up in the emotion of the situation. The customer is not aiming their feedback at the agent specifically, although it may feel like that at times. This can be emotionally taxing. But try to avoid being defensive. A defensive tone may amplify the customer’s emotions and make it harder to come to a solution.  

    Tip #6: Give them options. Along with wanting to be heard, angry customers want to know what you will do to fix the situation. Let the customer know what they can expect to happen next. Will you make a follow-up call? Offer a refund? A voucher? Clear, efficient communication is vital.  

    Tip #7: Don’t take it personally. This is easier said than done. But try to remember that the customer is not expressing frustration with you. It is likely due to several reasons that have nothing to do with the specific call center agent. Try to understand their experience and put yourself in their shoes. What would you want to be done in the same situation? How would you like these issues resolved?  

    Book A Demo

    What’s the Benefit of Dealing with Irate Customers? 

    Dealing with angry customers can be tricky. But the experience can provide lots of benefits for your call center team. The solutions you uncover can improve processes, refine essential skills, and help your entire team resolve uncomfortable issues healthily and productively. Other benefits include:  

    • It helps your business to improve. Identifying why customers are upset can help call centers pinpoint areas that need improvement or where agents need more training. This can save you considerable time and money down the road.  
    • It helps by identifying areas where a business might need to refine a process or product. If more than one customer has complained about a particular issue, it may signal a more significant problem. Customer feedback is vital for examining your call center scripts, communication points, and other areas. And make sure you focus on the end goal: improved customer service.  
    • It also helps to give agents a chance to use conflict resolution skills. Listen. Be empathetic. These are just a few ways agents can deal with even the most irate customers. Though these situations are uncomfortable, agents need to sharpen their conflict resolution skills. These skills are helpful in the workplace and everyday life. 


    Dealing with angry customers is never fun. But taking care of these situations professionally and calmly can turn angry customers into repeat customers. 

    Understanding how to deal with angry customers helps prevents these situations from happening in the future and empowers call centre agents to take control of problems in a productive manner—looking for more tips for top-notch customer service? Our QA software can help. Request a demo today!  

    Talk to Scorebuddy


    Table of Contents

      Subscribe to the Blog

      Be the first to get the latest insights on call center quality assurance, customer service, and agent training