16 June 2021

How to Deal with an Angry Customer: tips for quickly de-escalating a phone call and resolving your customer’s issue


Every business at some point will receive a call from an angry customer. Here are five tips on how to handle an upset customer.

1. Let your customer vent 

One of the best ways to de-escalate the call is to allow your customer to vent. Sometimes people just want someone to listen without interruption. Take the time to write down notes and actively listen to their concerns.

2. Keep your cool

While you are listening to your customer make it a priority to not become caught up in their emotions. Remain professional and empathetic to their situation and proactively repeat back to your customer what they have said – indicating that you are listening to their issue. Keep your tone professional and polite. When dealing with an irate customer, a calm tone and demeanor will make all the difference.

3. Address and acknowledge their situation

Once your customer has explained how they feel and what is going on, you can then take the time to address their situation and acknowledge how they are feeling.

If it is a situation you can fix, let them know you will fix it! If it is a situation that will involve others, let them know you will get others involved and what the next steps will be. The key is to let the customer know that you take their concerns seriously and you are invested in finding an appropriate resolution.

4. Use positive phrases

When talking, including keywords such as “absolutely”, “definitely” and “I understand” can put your customer at ease. Letting your customer know that you are going to help them and are working toward solving their issue (or that you will follow up with their concern) can make a huge difference in the outcome of your call. Additionally, using sincere and positive wording can help to quickly de-escalate a call.

5. Use your customer’s name

Studies show that people like to hear their name being used in conversation. Make it a point to call your customer by their name, whether it is their first name or a more formal name (Mr., Ms., Dr., etc.). This helps to develop a rapport with your customer and can turn a conversation around making for a more positive interaction with your customer.

Dealing with angry or upset customers doesn’t have to be complicated. In fact, following the 5 tips above can help you improve the outcome of the call and the overall satisfaction of your customer. Remember, the cost of signing up new customers is much more than the cost of saving a current customer. You can effectively reduce customer churn by ensuring that every call is handled with professionalism – even difficult or unexpected calls.

Answer 365 provides professional customer service for businesses 24/7, 365 days a year in both English and French. Get in touch today!