What CX says about dealing with an angry customer


“Your most unhappy customers are your greatest source of learning” –  Bill Gates


Despite the pandemic looming large and some areas experiencing the second wave of COVID-19, our lives are becoming increasingly tough with so many restrictions implemented almost every day. The “one-month-long” pandemic seems to be taking forever to end. It’s totally understandable if you miss the good old times when you didn’t need a face mask to enter certain places or when your social interaction wasn’t this limited. Evidently, this pandemic isn’t for all of us and some of us were accustomed to how our lives were before the pandemic took over. Staying at home and doing nothing for hours or even doing something confined in the four walls of your home can make you feel very annoyed. Frustration comes to an individual naturally and it’s usually something external bothering that particular individual that causes an upset in the mood. However, one small inconvenience could be the breaking point for some. Understandably, none of us want to be at the receiving end of that when it happens. However, some of us are bound to go through that and sometimes regularly. Who am I talking about here? Well, that’s the story of every CX agent. Handling a customer when they have a complaint or a problem at hand is not always easy especially when the customer on the other side wants an immediate solution to his/her query. This brings me back to how understanding and empathy is important and extremely vital if you’re a CX agent. After all, those customers are humans too and we all must acknowledge the fact that all of us have the right to have a frown on our faces now and then. Although fixing it, as I said, could be a real task. Diving into the depths of how customer experience works, what you should do, and most importantly, what you should NOT do; I discuss some key points which a CX agent should always remember while conversing with an irate customer.



Keeping in mind what we have discussed so far, it’s important to understand that in most cases the customer’s anger isn’t directed towards you. They didn’t wake up to intentionally ruin your day. Something happened which caused them to upset their mood altogether. Maybe their credit card declined after having a lovely dinner or perhaps their order hasn’t been delivered on time and they’re looking to cancel it. All of this and everything in-between is something which would frustrate anyone of us and without thinking; the first thing we’d do is call the customer helpline and express our resentment. Being at the receiving end of such inquiries, a CX agent most certainly shouldn’t be doing any of the things listed below. Here are a few which can cause the visitor to grow more annoyed and drive them away – FAST!






This is certainly a “no-no” when it comes to interacting with a customer when he/she is irate. The old saying goes, “The customer is always right” and keeping that in mind, it’s important to understand the visitor’s situation otherwise it may end up costing the business.




It’s essential to remember that every concern matters to the customer. It doesn’t matter if it’s big or small; the concern at hand is a major problem for the customer. On top of that, we’re running a business to win customers, not to win arguments.




This is something that will always annoy the visitor. An excuse for anything from a customer’s point of view will always be belittled. It’s better to empathize and move towards a solution.




Again, it’s about them, not you. Their frustration and anger are directed to the company and not towards you. You’re the face of the company whenever a customer requires help and it’s up to you whether you want to win an argument or win over the customer.




Two people continuously shouting at each other in hopes that either of them proves a point does not reap any reward, especially in the long run. Showing frustration and anger to a customer when the customer is already annoyed will make the customer more irritated. I hope I’m making sense of that. Anyway, always remember to raise your words, not your voice.

All of these pointers may seem really basic and simple to follow; however, that’s not entirely the case. During an interaction, it’s natural for anyone to forget them and cause more disarray than there already is. Therefore, for a good CX agent, it’s always important to keep these points in mind.



With the right strategy set in place, winning over an angry customer doesn’t seem all that hard. However, putting it into practice every day can pose to be somewhat of a challenge. Approaching every interaction with a calm and cool head will do the trick (for a start at least). It’s important to keep these next few pointers in mind when dealing with an annoyed customer




Your main concern is the customer at hand. It’s important to make them understand that you’re there for them and will help them to the best of your abilities. Note down key points and since the visitor is probably screaming at you, separate facts from emotions and try to get to the bottom of the issue while the visitor is explaining it. The last thing the customer wants is to wait for a couple of minutes for a solution and when you don’t have one, well, you know the rest. 




Although this may seem similar to the first point, they’re very different in nature. Listening to the visitor’s concerns without interrupting would be step one. However, once the visitor has stopped elaborating on the issue, you need to ask open-ended questions that will further help you in identifying where the issue occurred. Don’t be repetitive about anything. Keep the conversation friendly and make them understand that YOU understand. A good thing to say would be, “I understand how you could feel this way and it’s totally something I can take care of. Let’s work together to find a solution”. 




Being apologetic on behalf of the company you’re working for will portray a good impression to the customer. Be genuine about it but don’t dwell on it either. Be precise. Let them know that you’re sorry for the inconvenience caused and you’re working on a solution. Reassurance goes a long way and the annoyed customer may be less annoyed knowing you’re there to help. 




With the best of your abilities, get to the bottom of it and keep the customer in a loop of what you’re doing. Provide suitable outcomes leading towards a solution and ask the customer what they think about it. If due to any reason you’re unable to fix the issue and want to transfer the request to higher authorities, let the customer know as well as the timeframe in which the issue will be resolved. 




You know that the issue has been fixed. Why not give the customer a call-back and ask them if everything went smoothly? The customer wants the company to know that you care and following up after the issue has been resolved will certainly win over the customer for good. 

It’s no doubt that customer service can be challenging, but it’s important to take a deep breath and understand where the customer is coming from. When it comes to customer service, approaching a frustrated visitor with empathy and open-mindedness will win over the customer in the long run. 

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