Customer Experience News & Trends

What to do after you get the brunt of a customer’s fury

What customer service reps do after tough encounters with customers may be as important as how they handle them.

A good bounce-back from dealing with angry customers, extremely complicated questions or abnormally long calls will keep reps  healthy — mentally and physically — and service strong.

If reps don’t shake it off, tension might build up and push down their morale. Then other customers won’t get a great experience.

Take a mental break

To quickly bounce back from tough situations, reps can try these tactics:

  • Breathe. The deep-breath technique is still considered one of the best ways to calm nerves. Mentally visit some beach (or other relaxing spot) while you take five to 10 deep, slow breaths with your eyes closed.
  • Chill. Go somewhere where it’s cooler than your desk (for example, outside, a warehouse, your air-conditioned car). A tough call can make your blood boil — the anxiety might cause your temperature to rise. A blast of cooler air can calm you.
  • Speak. If a customer “vented” to you, do the same to a trusted co-worker. Rule of thumb: Keep your vent fewer than two minutes. If you go on too long or too often, you’ll wear out the friend. And then you won’t have a sympathetic ear. Also, be willing to hear co-workers vent when they need it.
  • March. If you can, take a brisk walk around your office, outside or down the hall to the water cooler. A change of scenery will get your mind to move on.
  • Read. Keep a pile of positive comments you received from customers, bosses and co-workers. Pull out a few when you just heard an earful of negative things.

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