It happens to every CSR, probably more often than they would like. You answer the phone, and a person is incredibly upset and can’t wait to tell you how upset they are. When this happens, it is ESSENTIAL to remain positive and confident. You may want to run and hide, or defend yourself from what feels like an attack, but your job is to hang in there, and help the caller.

Often, very angry callers have recently spent significant money buying a new system. When they have service issues, leaks, and problems, they are immediately upset. After all, the system they just replaced worked for decades before it broke.

There is specific wording that can really help to establish a working rapport: “Sir/Ma’am, you did the right thing calling to let us know your experience hasn’t been perfect. I will make it my priority to resolve this situation as soon as humanly possible.”

This sets you up to listen, and to follow the Pattern For Excellence to pacify and begin to resolve the customer’s concern.

An example of a very angry inbound service call might start off like this:

“Thanks for calling Awesome A/C, this is Brigham. How can I make you smile today?”

“I’M NOT SMILING. I’M VERY UPSET WITH YOU PEOPLE! I JUST BOUGHT A NEW AIR CONDITIONING SYSTEM FROM YOU LAST MONTH, AND NOW IT’S NOT WORKING!!!”

This is often the point where call handlers will begin to backpedal or apologize before they know the full story. Doing that is a mistake. The way forward is to reassure the caller that they have done the right thing by calling, and to let the caller know that they are not alone.

If what they are feeling is caused by you, you can apologize, take full responsibility and list specific steps you will take to correct the situation. This is how you show customers that you care…that you understand what they are feeling. Apologize when you or your company has wronged them. Sometimes just recognizing that something went wrong and offering a sincere apology for the slip up is enough to begin changing a potentially bad situation into a positive experience. Everybody makes mistakes; it’s good to admit them when you do.

“You’ve done the right thing calling to let us know your system isn’t perfect. I will make sure that you get the first available technician as soon as possible to get your system up and cooling again. You are absolutely my number one priority.”

In this course, we will go over the entire phone call with an angry customer from beginning to end, and how you can still create a WOW experience.

Greeting (stay positive and confident)

Start with Yes and the Customer’s Name: “Oh my gosh… that’s terrible.  Who do I have the pleasure of speaking with? Mr./Mrs. ___________, you have done the right thing by calling to let us know our services have not been perfect.  I am going to  make it my top priority to take care of you today.”

Listen and Care: “Tell me more…”