21 February 2017

Six Ways to Diffuse an Angry Customer Situation

It’s easy to get anxious when an angry customer is on the other end of the line. But when you put yourself in her shoes, and understand the brevity of the real opportunity you’re faced with, you’ll end up giving her a much better customer experience than she bargained for!”

Brett Howard, Director of Customer Experience, Callcap

She’s not happy, and your customer service rep is hearing aaalllll about it. An angry customer situation can spiral out of control very quickly… unless you act even quicker. Get a handle on things from the moment you realize they’re going south by employing these six simple tactics.


You’ve heard that you can hear a smile, right? It’s true! The anger on the other end of the line might have your customer seeing red, but she should only be met with a calm, serene attitude. And if you have to play tricks with your own brain to get yourself in that mindset, then so be it!

So smile, even though you know she can’t see you. Your physical actions will convince your emotions to play along.

Be Sympathetic

Actually, what you’re really doing here is being honest. Of course you’re sorry your customer is upset. You clearly wish that wasn’t the case. You very much want to make things right by her. But she needs to hear those words. So take a moment to connect and let her know you understand how frustrating this must be for her. Maybe share an anecdote of how you experienced something similar to level the playing field if it’s appropriate. Whatever the case, don’t make her feel like it’s her fault. Your customer feels she’s been wronged somehow, and that’s all that matters in this moment.

Repeat After Her

Leave no room for misinterpretation of her issue. She may have gone on (and on and on…) about all the events leading up to the problem, and maybe even the unfortunate aftermath, but you need to zone in on the actual problem and let her know you’re capable of fixing it. So repeat it back to her. “What I’m hearing you say is that you’re having a problem with the online bill pay feature. Is that correct?”


Sounds obvious, doesn’t it? It is. But it’s not implied. Which is why you need to say the words. Say you’re sorry. Because again, you are sorry. You’re human and you know from personal experience what it’s like to be dissatisfied with something. You’ve been in her shoes… the only difference is now you have the power to turn her negative experience into a positive one. So you’re sorry she’s having trouble and you wish it never would have happened in the first place, but you’re going to do everything you can to fix it. Those few genuine words go a long way toward softening a heart!

Ask Questions

As a customer service rep, many times you will know exactly how to remedy a situation. But there will be instances where you’re not sure what your angry customer wants from you. In those cases, don’t guess. Just ask. It’s a straightforward way to help her get what she’s looking for. Is there a particular outcome that would satisfy her? It may not always be possible, but that’s an entirely different topic…

Take Action

Time to instill confidence in your customer that you’re going to make the world right again. Be very clear about the steps you’re going to take to fix the problem, and more importantly, leave the lines of communication wide open. Give her your contact information so she can reach out to you directly. Don’t make her explain things all over again to someone else. She knows you, and she may even like you by this point.

Wish You Had a Second Chance With ALL Your Almost-Customers?

Mistakes happen. Potential transactions sometimes go sideways. In those cases, don’t you wish you could have a second chance to put into practice all the tips you’ve mastered above? Callcap’s customer recovery feature sets you up for success the second time around by helping you identify negative interactions right when they happen, so you can actively reach out and maybe even change their mind. They may have been angry, but who doesn’t love a good make-up sale?

Learn more information about Callcap’s customer recovery options today!