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Protecting Call Centre Staff from Angry and Rude Customers

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One thing that we can all empathise with is an angry customer. Even if you work in a customer service environment and deal with people on a daily basis you’ll have been in situations where you become angry at a seeming lack of professionalism on the part of a customer service agent you are talking to, whether in person or on the phone. There are always reasons behind an angry customer, and if you think that it is down to the framework of your business and the way in which your staff operate, it is down to you as a business owner to find a way to improve things for the better of your staff and to improve relationships with customers and customer satisfaction levels.

There are, of course, sometimes rude customers who are just rude due to no fault of your staff. It is important that as an organisation you have in-built channels where your staff members can feedback into the system the reasons for a customer being rude, whether these have been overtly explained by the customer, or are perceived by the staff member.

In cases where a customer is angry, and you cannot see any reason why this would have been caused by a call centre operative you can implement a system of call-routing for those repeat offenders. If a customer is flagged as being rude on regular occasions with your contact centre team you can see this come up in the system, but this does depend on whether you are willing to allow rude customers to continue to use your service.

In the cases where you are happy for them to have access to your service you can immediately put them through to a specialist advisor the moment they are flagged on the system. This ensures that they are being dealt with by a member of staff who specialises in dealing with angry customers and is more attuned to understand the specific motives and how to push for a quick and effective resolution, no matter the reason for the call. If you do not wish to take calls of this nature any more you can put them through to a queue that is incredibly long (though we would only in practice recommend this as a deterrent for a known number that is only calling to prank the company, as an example).

One tactic that is used by the vast majority of companies is to use call recordings as a way of highlighting good (and bad) practice for training purposes. This is a fantastic way to demonstrate to brand new team members and those facing difficulties the different problems that they may face on a call with a difficult customer, and how to deal with those with real-life examples.

With this type of analysis and a system to deter and re-route problematic callers, you can begin to focus in on any underlying issues that may be causing the triggers for nuisance and rude callers. Working with a professional contact centre team with an in-built process to deal with angry and rude customers effectively will go some way to improving standards within your organisation and boosting brand reputation.

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