Customer service agents from call centers are either bullied or defensive when dealing with nightmare customers.

Ask phone representatives about a “bad” interaction they have had, and they can recount the situation in which they have been screamed and shouted at in lurid detail. Even when our best customer service skills are not enough to pacify an upset customer, we can still make the right moves to improve the situation.

Identify the issue, resolve the problem. A good customer service is when you have an understanding of the matter that made the customer angry so you can deal with the root of the problem and solve it. Listen carefully. Once we have a clear grasp of the concern, ask the customer what would make it better. Reassure that you will be working together to resolve the issue. It is also nice to give that irate customer an e-mail or a phone call to see if things are doing well. It makes that customer feel he or she has been heard and is important to the business.

Do not take it personally. Customers expressed their anger over the phone because they have valid reasons why. Customers do not really want to be upset. Something has gone wrong that triggered displeasure. Stay positive and be in control. Focus on the problem and do not get embattled. Let the customer speak. Agents in customer service, help desk or technical support are there to help, not to aggravate the problem.

Seek the supervisor’s assistance. When matters are getting worse to the point of becoming unmanageable, it is best to escalate the problem immediately to the manager or supervisor. They are trained to deal with irritated customers.

Handling angry customers is not easy (for an agent, every second of this encounter seems like forever) but we can manage tempers flaring by showing our empathy to them. Customers are likely to be responsive if we allow them to speak out. Use words like “I understand” or “Don’t worry, we can do that”.  Customer service call centers are properly trained to handle these matters, and for them they are nothing but a big part of the job.