Dealing With Rude Customers Over the Phone

Dealing With Rude Customers Over The Phone

Knowing how to deal with a rude customer or answer nasty phone calls is one of the most challenging aspects of customer service. 

Customers that are rude to business owners and customer care representatives happen frequently. However, even if you deal with customers regularly, a sudden outburst of animosity can put you on the spot.

We’ll look at how to deal with rude customers over the phone in this article, so you’ll be prepared to handle any unpleasant encounters that come up.

What We'll Cover

Unhappy Customers vs. Rude Customers

Companies frequently make the mistake of lumping together “rude customers” and “unhappy customers” when the two are generally two separate categories of clients.

Customers have the right to complain about the quality of products or services they’ve received from your company. You’ll be more likely to assist them if they stay calm and respectful, despite their annoyance or displeasure. 

When a customer questions an adjustment you’ve made, the same thing applies. You’ll do everything you can to clarify the problem and help them.

However, it’s an entirely different situation when someone can’t manage their emotions and turns to abusive language, harsh words, or even aggressive behavior. When you’re dealing with these unpleasant customers, you should use a different strategy.

Don’t Be Affected By Emotions

According to anyone who has worked in a call center, this is the fundamental principle of customer phone support: Don’t let your emotions get the best of you when you answer the phone. 

Callers can push your civility to the limit at times, but the key is to detach yourself from their emotions and consider them rationally as an issue to be addressed. If you react angrily, you will make the matter worse.

Actively Listen

One of the essential components of dealing with tough callers and clients, in general, is listening. When you genuinely listen to what they’re trying to say, you’re demonstrating concern while also gaining a better understanding of the problem they’re having, which aids you in resolving the issue. Even if you have fantastic news, resist the urge to talk over them.

Don’t Take It As A Personal Attack

Most likely, your customer is upset because of a subpar item or service, and you’re the unlucky recipient of their rage. Several other factors could have influenced how they felt. 

For example, a long-term problem like COVID-19 can cause emotions like worry, uncertainty, and agitation to pile up to the extent where even the slightest annoyance can be the breaking point.

Rather than taking a customer’s hostility personally, attempt to empathize with them. They want to feel that you’ve acknowledged them and understand their pain, so demonstrate that you have.

Make Sure Your Tone Reflects Your Calm Demeanor

Your tone can usually reveal your actual feelings. When you’re irritated, it’s tempting to talk before thinking, which frequently results in contempt, snarky remarks, and screaming. So, have a tone that matches your calm and collected demeanor.

Communicating with the customer calmly with a modulated voice can help you both relax. Exercise using this tone in response to unpleasant words. 

You’ll probably notice that the customer eases up a bit. Simply put, it is not easy to keep bombarding someone who responds in a pleasant, friendly manner

Make The Customer Feel Validated

Often, the caller shouting at you over the line is merely trying to get you to notice that they are unhappy for a reason. Since they don’t comprehend what’s going on, customers often speak condescendingly by customer service representatives, which is inappropriate. 

Rather than simply asking them to “calm down,” say, “You’re right. This is an issue, and we’ll figure out how to solve it.”

Sincerely Apologize

Regardless of whether you believe you are at fault, you should always apologize. The purpose of saying sorry is to demonstrate to the consumer that you are apologetic for their unsatisfactory experience with your service or product. They should have never been forced to approach you in the first place.

However, as sincere as your apologies may be, you don’t have to offer an apology if the business has done nothing wrong. That could be interpreted as you admitting fault in a circumstance where you are not to blame. As a result, it’s critical to be mindful of your words. 

Instead of saying “I’m sorry that we did that,” try stating something like “I’m sorry that you had a negative experience with this item/service.” You can empathize with them without assuming responsibility for their actions.

Hold Your Ground

However, to get your point across, you may need to be more firm at times. If the customer continues to repeat the same arguments or tries to keep you from saying anything, you’ll have to react eventually.

Speak clearly and decisively, and address the specifics of the problem, particularly if the client is making false statements or requesting you to break the regulations. 

This can be challenging, but reminding yourself why you’re standing your ground can be beneficial, especially if you’re completing critical obligations for your position or upholding health and safety standards that will safeguard everyone.

Concentrate On Identifying And Resolving The Underlying Issue

It’s challenging to keep track of the situation when a client is verbally attacking you. In this case, you may find it challenging to maintain your composure. Instead, pay attention to what they’re saying and utilize that information to find out what’s wrong.

You may begin dealing with the issue once you’ve identified it. The best way to make an irritated customer relax is by stating that you’ve found a solution to their problem. Instead of merely listening to someone rant at you on the phone, focusing on the problem-solving process will help you relax.

The Bottom Line

Rude customers are distinct from unhappy ones in that they are unable to manage their displeasure. They are irrational, unpleasant, and prone to an aggressive attitude, verbal harassment, and foul language. However, since you’re in business to serve your clients, you must make every effort to assist them.

When dealing with unpleasant consumers, it’s critical to keep your emotions in check and respond calmly and thoughtfully to aggressive conduct. Make an effort not to take any criticisms too seriously. Actively listen to your customer and provide an apology if necessary.

If you’d like a trained and expert virtual receptionist to save you time, answer your phone calls with a smile, convert callers into loyal customers, and help you build your business, sign up with Hello By Humans today, and start your free 14-day trial!

Learn more about our virtual receptionist and call center services here at Hello By Humans.