3 worst ways to handle angry customers

When it comes to customer service you may often find yourself on the receiving end of angry customers. For contact centre staff, it is particularly likely that you'll experience this anger, and it's essential to know how to handle it. Anger manifests for various reasons, from complaints about a service or product to grief and sadness. With that in mind, it's important to understand that no two customers are the same, but the way you handle them must always use the same care. There is much advice on the best ways to deal with angry customers, but there are also some things to avoid at all costs.

1. Getting defensive

The worst thing you can do is take the person's anger personally. If you do this, you'll find yourself getting defensive and this will show in the things that you say and the way that you say them. This approach will only leave the caller feeling angrier and more frustrated. It will also take away your ability to think clearly and therefore won't help to resolve their issue.

2. Showing a lack of empathy

Being empathetic towards the customer's anger lets them know immediately that you're there to help, not hinder. Empathy is particularly important in funeral call handling when a person's anger is likely to stem from a recent bereavement. A lack of empathy will soon see customers turn to a different service, as all customers need to feel that their call is important to you.

3. Leaving them waiting

When a customer is angry they're after a quick, but efficient, solution. While this may take time, you should always keep their wait to a minimum. Being kept on hold or passed around various staff only serves to make the caller more annoyed. Answer phones as promptly as possible and aim to resolve issues in the shortest time.

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