It’s bound to happen in the customer service industry: an irate customer calls and blames all the problems in the world on you. What’s a customer service agent to do? Here’s what we’ve found helps our customer care team at Nationwide Inbound:

Speak Softly

Listen to yourself when you respond to the customer. Are you raising your voice to be heard? Changing your tone to sound authoritative? Do your best to keep your tone even and soft. Slowing your speech can also help, causing the customer to slow down and listen to you.

Patience is Key

Waiting for an angry customer to finish a diatribe is torment, we give you that. But interrupting the customer in their diatribe will only escalate the situation. Choose to wait till the customer pauses or ends the speech before you insert yourself into the conversation.

Take Responsibility

While the problem is likely not your fault, you can take responsibility for the solution. Instead of passing off the angry customer to different levels of your customer service department, instead communicate to the customer that you will do everything in your power to solve the problem, personally taking it to higher levels if needed.

Don’t Take Their Frustration Personally

The customer doesn’t hate you, though it may seem like it. He just hates your product or service at the moment and is taking out that anger on you. Do your best to distance yourself from the conversation when the customer makes personal attacks and remind yourself that this isn’t about you: it’s about a failure of some sort on the part of your product or service or faulty expectations on the part of your customer.

Don’t Argue

Your problem customer is probably in an argumentative mood. Whatever you do, don’t argue back, as tempting as it is. Arguing that the customer is wrong will only make her fight harder to be right. When a customer is wrong, it is ok to communicate that their expectations may be faulty, but arguing is not the way to do it.

Be Kind

Be gracious no matter how the customer responds to you. Heaping kindness on him can help you feel like the bigger person all while helping him calm down.

De-Stress After the Call

Take a few minutes after you finish the call to de-stress. Take a walk, buy a coffee, read a blog post—anything to get your mind off of the frustrating conversation you just had.


What’s your plan to calm frustrated customers? Share in the comments below!