5 Tips for Deescalating an Upset Customer

Being on the receiving end of complaints from an upset customer can be a stressful time for both parties. Sometimes, attempting to deescalate the situation can lead to more problems, especially if the de-escalation attempts are done incorrectly.

5 tips for deescalating an upset customer

If you work in a call center, IT department, or otherwise have contact directly with the customer, there may be a time when you receive a call from a very unhappy and upset customer. Let’s take a look at 5 tips for helping to defuse the situation and find a solution that can calm down the upset customer quickly and efficiently.

Remain Calm and Professional

Being yelled at by an upset customer can be very upsetting for you as well. They are extremely mad about a situation which, in most cases, you had nothing to do with – but as the customer service representative, you are the one taking the abuse.

Always remain calm and professional, no matter how upset the customer may be. If they are yelling, it may be tempting for you to yell back at them. But this will get you nowhere and will not help move towards a de-escalation of the situation.

Instead, try to imagine yourself in the customer’s shoes and how you would feel in the same situation. They may feel cheated, disrespected, ignored, and other feelings. You would probably be mad as well. Instead of getting angry back at them, instead be understanding and empathetic to their issue.

Don’t Take Anything Personally

In the heat of the moment, things may be said to you by the upset customer which can be hurtful. In a fit of rage, some people don’t think rationally and will simply yell profanities and insults in an attempt to feel in control of the situation.

When this happens, never take this personally. Afterall, you were most likely not responsible for the current situation the customer is in, and your only job is to help reach a solution that will make the customer feel better. In almost all cases, the angry customer is mad at your company and not you specifically.

Be An Active Listener

Listening is important, but being an active listener is even more vital. If you are just sitting quietly and letting the upset customer talk, they may feel like you aren’t paying attention to them which could fuel their anger even further. Instead, add in a few words of agreement and understanding.

Apologize For The Problems

Sincerely apologizing to the customer for the problem can go a long way in helping to defuse the situation. If you have a sarcastic or insincere tone, a customer will absolutely pick up on that and can go into a completely new fit of rage.

Find A Suitable Resolution

Finding a suitable resolution is the reason for the call, so it is your job to reach a conclusion that not only satisfies the customer but also lets them know you have heard and understood the problem.

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