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Call center agents probably deserve more credit than they’re given. They handle the calls and the customers most people would rather avoid. Dealing with angry customers isn’t easy — it’s a challenge at times for even the most experienced call center agents. Many of those same agents, however, follow these four tips for handling flustered clients, which leads to happier customers, agents and heart doctors. That was a poorly delivered blood pressure joke.

Refer to Callers by Their Name

Customers today expect their name to mean nothing to cashiers and customer support staff. Referring to customers as “ma’am” or “sir” can make clients feel even more like they’re unimportant. They’re already upset and now feel like they’re another customer on the assembly line of service. Calling a client by their name not only catches their attention but also brings a degree of personalization to their call that’s absent from other shopping experiences. Refer to customers by their first name and they may even return the favor.

Press the Mute Button

Now that you and Joan, John or Kermit the Frog are acquainted, pressing the mute button may not be a bad idea. Kermit has a lot to say, after all. Kermit’s not the angry type? Okay — Joan, then. Calling was the last option for Joan, and now that she’s done it she needs to vent. Venting is normal for angry customers. Let your caller express their frustration without offering solutions. Muting your microphone prevents you from interjecting and blocks out any office sounds, which can distract or upset customers further. Once they’re finished venting, you can move on to solving their problem.

Smile Like You Mean It

You may be dealing with angry customers over the phone, but smiling is proven to impact your tone. A smile helps you sound friendly and kind and complements your usage of a client’s first name. Together, these factors ease a customer’s frustration and make them more open to your suggestions. Call center agents often feel a bit weird trying this technique, but you’ll find it works and leads to results. It’s also a better way to spend your working day, with a smile rather than a frown.

Talk to Callers Off-Script

Customers are well-versed in the scripts call centers give their agents. Because of clients’ knowledge of customer service scripts, it’s important that you’re willing to adjust your lines to connect with angry customers over the phone. If callers want to have a brief but casual discussion, then talk with them. Not only will it have a positive impact on their day, but also on their experience with your company. If you’re looking for more ways to help your call center agents aside from dealing with angry customers over the phone, consider trying a demo or trial of our unlimited calling software, which helps staff make clients notes, initiate calls faster and generate leads quicker.

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