How to handle angry customers

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Angry CustomerThis article deals with how to handle an angry customer and diffuse the tense situations

Was there a situation when you felt frustrated with the response of customer representative and vented out your anger on the customer facing person of the organisations. This happens many a time in B2C companies where there are too many transactions and systems are not geared to handle exceptions. In such instances the customer facing representatives do not know whom to connect in organisation or some time not empowered to take decision, in such cases either angry customer choose to vent out anger or simply switch to another service provider.

So how do you train your front ending customer representative to handle angry customers?

First, your customer representative need to understand the types of angry customer, I would divide in 2 types visibly angry and invisibly angry.


Anger is an acid that can do more harm to the vessel in which it is stored than to anything on which it is poured.
– Mark Twain, American writer

“Every defect is a treasure, if the company can uncover its cause and work to prevent it across the corporation.”
– Kilchiro Toyoda, founder of Toyota


While it is easy to identify angry customers often spelling out very clearly what went wrong in full details in high pitch and outcome they are expecting. It is also important to identify the invisibly angry customer.

Train your customer representative to look out for sign such as

  • Pretending not to hear or able to understand the methods to resolve
  • The hands are folded kept near the chest and fist tightly closed
  • Not making an eye contact and avoiding involvement
  • Sarcastic comments and restricted smile

All these are signs the customer is not happy and is with the organisation because the cost of  switch over is high, any right moment and he or she will jump the boat to another service provide. An opportunity lost and chance to bad name as well.

Steps to deal with angry customer

  • Listen with calm and composed posture and mind: This is first and foremost requirement

take care to stay safe and involve at-least one other colleagues in case the situation goes out of  hand

  • DO NOT ever use generic statement like, “I understand how you feel” or “That sound really frustrating” or argue.

to break the CIRCLE of ESCALATION by offering a glass of water and repeating the complaint to  reinforce. Customer may get into circle of escalation when your customer representative tries to give reason for the mistake made in past, or argue and speak in high pitch

  • Identify the cause

using the effective questioning techniques or the 5 Whys method to establish elementary cause and effect patterns. Let the customer speak for few minutes to explain and do NOT give reasons for mistakes in past.

  • Don’t Judge

behaviour of the customer, demonstrate the interest in giving the solution to the problem.

  • Look out for a solution,

Ideally Apologize
When it’s customer represenmtative turn to talk, let him or her be taught to speak slowly and calmly, in lower vocal tone, and use non-threatening body language. This will often encourage others to calm down.

  • GIVE a TIME FRAME to comeback with solution

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