From Frustration to Elevated Customer Satisfaction: The First 5 Things You Need to Say to an Upset Customer

OABPO Blog Team Published on November 11, 2014 Last updated on January 28, 2023

A fundamental aspect of customer service is effectively handling upset customers, as their satisfaction and loyalty can have a significant impact on the overall reputation and profitability of a business.

The representatives from your call center in the Philippines must know how to calm them down and offer the right kind of assistance. That’s why it’s important to integrate effective listening drills and activities into your training program and make sure the customer service skills of your agents are regularly enhanced.

Diffusing heated situations with upset customers is all about choosing the right words to say.

The Power of Timely Responses: Nurturing Customer Satisfaction

challenge to customer satisfaction depiction man annoyed pointing at watch

When customers are upset or dissatisfied with their experience, you must address their concerns promptly and find a resolution that meets their expectations.

Failing to do so can result in negative word-of-mouth, leading to potential customers avoiding the business and seeking alternatives. In today’s interconnected world, where information travels at lightning speed through social media and online review platforms, the impact of one dissatisfied customer can be amplified exponentially.

And the reasons why customers get angry and vent out their frustrations are aplenty.

Unraveling the Causes of Customer Dissatisfaction

Customer satisfaction is pivotal to the success of any business. However, understanding the key factors that lead to customer dissatisfaction is equally important. Here are the primary causes of customer dissatisfaction, shedding light on their impact on businesses:

  • Poor Communication

    Ineffective communication channels or unresponsive customer service can frustrate customers and erode their trust. Failing to address concerns or providing misleading information exacerbates dissatisfaction, highlighting the need for prompt and accurate communication.

  • Subpar Product or Service Quality

    customer satisfaction concern depiction woman annoyed at defective product in box calling customer service hotline

    When customers invest in a product or service, they expect a certain level of quality. Dissatisfaction arises when products are defective, services are inconsistent, or promised features fall short, emphasizing the importance of maintaining high standards to meet customer expectations.

  • Inadequate Customer Support

    Unhelpful or indifferent customer support representatives contribute to dissatisfaction. Long wait times, lack of personalized assistance, or unresolved issues all undermine customer satisfaction, necessitating robust customer support systems with trained personnel and streamlined processes.

  • Pricing and Value Perception

    Customers seek value for their money, and a perceived disconnect between price and value can lead to dissatisfaction. Unreasonable price hikes, hidden fees, or misleading pricing strategies create negative experiences, highlighting the need for transparency and consistently delivering value.

  • Inconsistent Brand Experience

    failing customer satisfaction depiction businessman confused lookin at laptop in disbelief

    Inconsistencies in product quality, service delivery, or brand messaging create a sense of uncertainty for customers. Discrepancies in the brand experience erode trust, making it crucial to ensure consistency across all touchpoints to maintain customer satisfaction.

  • Lack of Personalization

    Customers expect personalized experiences tailored to their unique needs and preferences. Generic or impersonalized interactions leave customers feeling undervalued, emphasizing the importance of personalized recommendations, targeted marketing, and tailored customer service.

Consequences of Ignoring or Mishandling Upset Customers

low customer satisfaction consumer facepalm in front of laptop

Failing to respond to an upset customer can have far-reaching consequences that can negatively impact a business.

  • Damage to Customer Relationship Management

    Ignoring or mishandling an upset customer can strain the customer-business relationship. It erodes trust and loyalty, making it difficult to maintain a positive long-term relationship with the customer.

  • Negative Impact on Customer Service

    Failing to address an upset customer’s concerns reflects poorly on the customer service provided by the business. It sends a message that customer satisfaction is not a priority, potentially leading to a decline in customer service ratings and reputation.

  • Decreased Customer Satisfaction

    Unresolved complaints or unaddressed issues result in dissatisfied customers. Their negative experiences can spread through word-of-mouth, damaging the business’s reputation and potentially leading to lost customers.

  • Loss of Repeat Business

    An upset customer who feels unheard or dismissed is unlikely to return for future purchases or services. This loss of repeat business directly impacts revenue and profitability.

  • Potential for Negative Online Reviews

    In the age of social media and online reviews, dissatisfied customers have the power to share their negative experiences with a wide audience. Failing to respond effectively to an upset customer increases the likelihood of negative reviews, which can deter potential customers from choosing the business.

  • Decline in Customer Retention

    A lack of effective problem resolution and communication with upset customers can result in increased customer churn. Retaining existing customers is more cost-effective than acquiring new ones, making customer retention crucial for sustainable business growth.

  • Missed Opportunity for Improvement

    Customer complaints often provide valuable feedback that can help identify areas for improvement within the business. Ignoring upset customers means missing out on opportunities to enhance products, services, and overall customer experience.

  • Potential Legal Issues

    If a customer’s concerns are not addressed and escalate further, it could lead to legal complications, such as formal complaints, disputes, or legal action against the business. Failing to respond promptly and appropriately increases the risk of legal ramifications.

Effective Communication: The Key to Resolving Issues

customer satisfaction agent in call center assisting consumer over the phone

Effective communication is the backbone of any successful customer service interaction, especially when dealing with upset customers. When customers are upset or dissatisfied, they are often emotionally charged and seeking resolution. Properly addressing their concerns requires more than just providing information or a solutionโ€”it requires empathy, understanding, and active listening.

Here are key reasons why effective communication is crucial:

  • Establishing Empathy

    Effective communication allows customer service representatives to demonstrate empathy and understanding towards upset customers. This helps build rapport, validate their emotions, and create a sense of connection, fostering a more positive interaction.

  • Clear Understanding of the Problem

    Through effective communication, representatives can actively listen and ask clarifying questions to gain a clear understanding of the customer’s problem. This enables accurate problem identification and appropriate resolution, avoiding misunderstandings or inadequate solutions.

  • customer satisfaction rep holding hear in call center helping customers over the phone
  • Building Trust and Rapport

    By communicating effectively, representatives can build trust with upset customers. Transparent and open communication shows the customer that their concerns are being taken seriously and that the business is committed to finding a resolution, enhancing trust and loyalty.

  • Diffusing Tension

    Effective communication strategies can help defuse tension and diffuse potentially escalated situations. Calming language, active listening, and a supportive tone can help create a more positive atmosphere and shift the focus towards problem resolution.

  • Conflict Resolution

    Effective communication is crucial for managing conflicts that may arise with upset customers. By employing conflict management techniques and assertive communication, representatives can address disagreements and find mutually satisfactory solutions.

  • Positive Customer Experience

    Effective communication contributes to a positive customer experience. Clear and concise communication helps customers feel understood, valued, and respected, leading to greater satisfaction and the potential for continued patronage.

  • customer satisfaction agent with bright idea resolutions in call center
  • Problem Resolution

    Proper communication ensures that representatives can provide accurate and relevant information to address the customer’s concerns. Effective communication allows for the clear articulation of potential solutions, guiding the customer towards a resolution that meets their needs.

  • Customer Satisfaction

    Effective communication directly impacts customer satisfaction. When representatives communicate in a professional, attentive, and empathetic manner, customers are more likely to feel heard, valued, and satisfied with the overall experience.

  • Effective Follow-Up

    Clear communication during the initial interaction lays the foundation for effective follow-up. Following up with upset customers requires proper communication to provide updates, confirm resolutions, and address any remaining concerns. It helps maintain a positive customer-business relationship and ensures that the customer’s needs are fully addressed.

  • Continuous Improvement

    Effective communication allows businesses to gather feedback from upset customers, providing valuable insights for improvement. By actively listening to customer concerns and communicating internally, businesses can identify patterns, address root causes, and enhance their overall processes and services.

Empathy: Bridging the Gap for Customer Understanding

smiling customer satisfaction rep in call center doing heart hand gesture

Empathy is a vital skill when dealing with upset customers as it helps to establish a connection, build trust, and show that their concerns are being acknowledged and understood. Here are 5 tips for demonstrating empathy and understanding:

  1. Active Listening

    Actively listen to the customer’s frustrations without interrupting or rushing to find a solution. Give them the space to express their concerns fully, and show genuine interest in understanding their perspective.

  2. Validate Emotions

    Acknowledge the customer’s emotions and frustrations. Use phrases like, “I understand how frustrating this must be for you” or “I can see why you would feel upset in this situation.” Validating their emotions helps the customer feel heard and understood.

  3. Reflect on Feelings

    Reflect back the customer’s feelings to show that you are genuinely empathizing with their situation. For example, you can say, “It sounds like you’re really disappointed with the service you received,” or “I can sense your frustration, and I apologize for the inconvenience caused.”

  4. Avoid Blaming or Minimizing

    Refrain from placing blame or minimizing the customer’s concerns. Instead, focus on understanding their perspective and finding a solution. Phrases like, “I apologize for the inconvenience caused. Let’s work together to find a resolution” convey a more supportive and understanding tone.

  5. Use Positive Language

    Choose words and phrases that convey empathy and understanding. Positive language helps to diffuse tension and create a more positive customer experience. For example, saying “I appreciate your patience as we work towards resolving this issue” or “Thank you for bringing this to our attention. We are committed to finding a solution” can have a significant impact on the customer’s perception.

What Phrases Can Help De-Escalate the Situation?

  • “I Understand That You’re Upset”

    Acknowledge Their Emotions

    agent from call center in the Philippines speaking to customer over the phone

    The initial step in addressing an upset customer is to acknowledge their emotions. Empathy and understanding play a vital role in defusing the situation. Begin the conversation by expressing genuine concern for their dissatisfaction.

    Use phrases such as “I understand that you are upset” or “I can see why you feel frustrated.” This validates their emotions and shows that you are genuinely interested in resolving their issue.

  • “I’m Sorry”

    Apologize Sincerely

    apologetic agent from call center in the Philippines covering mouth

    Once you have acknowledged their emotions, offer a sincere apology for any inconvenience or negative experience they have encountered. Whether the problem was caused by the customer or not, apologizing for the inconvenience they are experiencing can do a lot in alleviating their frustrations.

    Saying sorry doesn’t necessarily mean that you are admitting that you’re guilty of placing your customer in such situation. It can just be your way of showing empathy and compassion which, in the customer service world, can go a long way in calming people. This step helps to humanize the interaction and shows that you value the customer’s feelings.

  • “I understand that the problem isโ€ฆ”

    Active listening and clarification

    agent from call center in the Philippines assisting customer over the phone smiling

    To address the customer’s concerns effectively, it’s crucial to actively listen to their grievances. Allow the customer to express their frustrations without interruptions. Once they have finished, summarize their concerns to ensure you have understood them correctly. This step not only shows that you are actively engaged but also helps to prevent any miscommunication or misunderstanding.

  • “Let’s Work Together to Find a Solution”

    Express a Genuine Desire to Help

    helpful agent from call center in the Philippines speaking to customer over the phone

    After actively listening to the customer, demonstrate your commitment to resolving their issue. Assure them that you genuinely want to find a solution that satisfies their needs. Phrases such as “We’ll work on this as soon as possible” or “Let’s work together to find a suitable solution” convey your willingness to go above and beyond to address their concerns. This approach shifts the focus from confrontation to collaboration, creating a more positive atmosphere for problem-solving.

  • “Here’s What We Can Do to Help Youโ€ฆ”

    Offer Potential Solutions

    agent from call center in the Philippines waving thank you

    Once you have gathered all the necessary information and understood the customer’s concerns, present potential solutions or alternatives. Offer choices that align with the customer’s needs and your company’s policies. If possible, provide immediate solutions or temporary remedies to alleviate their frustration. However, if an immediate resolution is not possible, be transparent about the steps you will take to investigate and rectify the issue.

Offering Resolutions and Next Steps: Turning Challenges into Opportunities

To rebuild trust and demonstrate your commitment to customer satisfaction, take ownership of the problem and ensure that it is resolved. Provide a clear timeline for when the customer can expect a resolution or update on their issue. Take responsibility for any necessary follow-up actions and assign the appropriate resources within your organization to address the problem promptly. Here’s are seven steps to ensure effective issue resolution:

  • Understand the Problem

    Take the time to fully understand the customer’s problem and gather all the necessary information. Ask clarifying questions to ensure you have a clear understanding of the issue.

  • smiling customer satisfaction agent listening to customer on the phone in call center
  • Provide Options

    Offer the customer multiple options for resolution whenever possible. This empowers the customer and allows them to choose the option that best suits their needs. Present the options in a clear and concise manner, outlining the benefits and potential outcomes of each.

  • Set Realistic Expectations

    Be transparent about what can be achieved and the timeframe for resolution. Managing the customer’s expectations helps to build trust and avoids further disappointment or frustration.

  • Take Ownership

    Assume responsibility for the issue and assure the customer that you will personally oversee the resolution process. This shows the customer that their concerns are a priority and that you are committed to resolving the problem.

  • excellent customer satisfaction rep guiding customer over the phone in call center
  • Follow Up

    Inform the customer about the steps that will be taken to address the issue, such as escalating it to the relevant department or conducting an investigation. Let them know when they can expect to hear back from you or receive an update.

  • Apologize Sincerely

    Offer a genuine apology for the inconvenience or frustration caused. A sincere apology can go a long way in building trust and showing the customer that their satisfaction is important to the business.

  • Document the Resolution

    Make sure to document the agreed-upon resolution or next steps. This ensures that all relevant parties are aware of the situation and helps to avoid miscommunication or misunderstandings in the future.

Demonstrating Commitment and Care Through Follow-Ups

elevated customer satisfaction agent providing excellent customer support over the phone in call center

Following up with the customer after the initial response is essential for maintaining a positive customer experience and ensuring that their concerns have been fully addressed. Here are some strategies for effective follow-up communication:

  • Timely Response

    Respond to the customer’s initial complaint or inquiry promptly. Aim to provide an initial response within 24 hours to show that their concerns are being taken seriously.

  • Personalized Approach

    Tailor your follow-up communication to the specific customer and their situation. Reference the previous interaction and acknowledge any steps taken to address their concerns.

  • Express Appreciation

    Thank the customer for their feedback and for bringing the issue to your attention. Express appreciation for their patience and understanding throughout the resolution process.

  • Confirm Resolution

    Clearly communicate the actions that have been taken to resolve the issue and confirm that it has been resolved to the customer’s satisfaction. Provide any relevant details or information they may need.

  • Seek Feedback

    Invite the customer to share their feedback on the resolution process and their overall experience. This shows that their opinion is valued and provides an opportunity for further improvement.

  • Offer Assistance

    Reassure the customer that you are available to assist them further if needed. Provide contact information or direct them to any relevant resources that might be helpful.

  • Monitor Satisfaction

    Keep track of customer satisfaction after the follow-up communication. This can be done through surveys, feedback forms, or ongoing communication. Address any further concerns promptly and make necessary adjustments to ensure complete satisfaction.

How an Outsourced Call Center Ensures Customer Satisfaction

customer satisfaction team in call center busy assisting customers

Outsourcing to a call center can help prevent customer dissatisfaction issues. Call centers specialize in customer care, making it their primary focus. By entrusting customer service responsibilities to dedicated professionals, businesses can ensure that their customers receive the attention and care they deserve.

Their expertise and focus on customer care provided by call centers can significantly contribute to preventing customer dissatisfaction and elevating customer experience. Here’s how:

  • Specialized Expertise

    Outsourced call centers employ and train customer service professional, enabling them to handle interactions with empathy, effective communication strategies, and conflict resolution techniques.

  • Scalability

    Call centers can scale their operations based on your business’s needs, including peak periods or when facing a surge in customer inquiries. This ensures that customers receive prompt responses and resolutions, reducing the likelihood of dissatisfaction due to long wait times or delayed responses.

  • 24/7 Availability

    Most call centers offer round-the-clock customer support, providing assistance to customers at any time of the day, whenever customers need it. This increases satisfaction and reduces frustration caused by limited service hours.

  • Multilingual Support

    Multilingual call centers cater to customers from diverse linguistic backgrounds. This ensures effective communication and understanding, minimizing the chances of miscommunication or misunderstandings that can lead to customer dissatisfaction.

  • Technology and Infrastructure

    By investing in advanced technology, infrastructures, and customer relationship management tools, call centers provide fast problem resolution and better overall service quality.

  • Customer Care Focus

    By entrusting customer service responsibilities to dedicated call centers, brands can ensure that their customers receive the attention and care they deserve. This allows businesses to concentrate on core operations while knowing that their customers are in capable hands.

  • Performance Monitoring

    Outsourced call centers have systems in place to monitor operational performance. This ensures that service level agreements are met, customer interactions are consistently of high quality, and customer satisfaction is prioritized. Regular reporting and feedback mechanisms help identify areas for improvement and enable continuous enhancements to the customer service experience.

Professionalism is extremely important when interacting with angry customers. Before learning how to calm people down, your agents must first know how to extend their patience when talking to difficult people.

customer satisfaction agent in call center smiling

Courtesy and therapeutic communication can go a long way in preventing your customers from leaving your brand. Using these statements can therefore help you transform an angry customer into a manageable and cooperative one.

Philippine call centers are highly sought-after not only because of Filipinos’ excellent English proficiency but also for their patience and warm attitude towards customers. This is why, as a business owner, you should team up with Open Access BPO for your customer support needs.

Open Access BPO is an outsourcing firm that specializes in multilingual and multichannel customer support. We value diversity and empowerment among our agents, reassuring you that we deliver only the best customer experience for your brand. Contact us today and let’s get your program started.


Read More

Join us on facebook
Open Access BPO 3 days ago
Of course, #CallCenter leaders want only the best talents for their teams, but the best talents are also looking for the best experiences from their prospective workplaces.

High performers would consider these factors as they choose the right #ContactCenter to work for:

Get only a diligent , highly-skilled team working on your brand's #CX when you outsource with us:

#outsourcing #CallCenters
#CustomerSupport #recruitment
Open Access BPO 3 days ago
#CallCenter agents thrive with strong leadership. Great team leaders provide direction and motivation, which fuels agent success and exceptional #CustomerExperience.

But what holds leaders back?

Here are the pitfalls that can sabotage your leadership (and get expert tips to become an exceptional leader!)

Upgrade to a better #CustomerSupport.

Contact Open Access BPO today to build your dream #CX program with our expert team and visionary leaders:

#CallCenterLeadership #CallCenterManager
#ContactCenterLeader #CallCenterSuccess
#EmployeeEngagement #TeamLeadership
Open Access BPO 6 days ago
๐—ช๐—ต๐—ฒ๐—ป ๐—ฐ๐—ต๐—ผ๐—ผ๐˜€๐—ถ๐—ป๐—ด ๐—ฎ #๐—–๐—ฎ๐—น๐—น๐—–๐—ฒ๐—ป๐˜๐—ฒ๐—ฟ ๐˜๐—ผ ๐—ฝ๐—ฎ๐—ฟ๐˜๐—ป๐—ฒ๐—ฟ ๐˜„๐—ถ๐˜๐—ต, ๐—ณ๐—ถ๐—ป๐—ฑ ๐—ผ๐˜‚๐˜ ๐—ท๐˜‚๐˜€๐˜ ๐—ต๐—ผ๐˜„ ๐—ฎ๐—ด๐—ถ๐—น๐—ฒ ๐˜†๐—ผ๐˜‚๐—ฟ ๐—ฝ๐—ฟ๐—ผ๐˜€๐—ฝ๐—ฒ๐—ฐ๐˜๐˜€ ๐—ฎ๐—ฟ๐—ฒ.

See how they've adapted in rapidly evolving situations, find out how they will help your brand thrive even in the most volatile of circumstances.

๐—”๐—ด๐—ถ๐—น๐—ถ๐˜๐˜† ๐—ถ๐˜€ ๐—ฎ ๐—ฟ๐—ฒ๐˜€๐˜‚๐—น๐˜ ๐—ผ๐—ณ ๐—ฎ ๐˜€๐—ฒ๐—ฟ๐—ถ๐—ฒ๐˜€ ๐—ผ๐—ณ ๐—ด๐—ผ๐—ผ๐—ฑ ๐—ฏ๐˜‚๐˜€๐—ถ๐—ป๐—ฒ๐˜€๐˜€ ๐—ฝ๐—ฟ๐—ฎ๐—ฐ๐˜๐—ถ๐—ฐ๐—ฒ๐˜€ ๐—ฑ๐—ผ๐—ป๐—ฒ ๐—ฐ๐—ผ๐—ป๐˜€๐—ถ๐˜€๐˜๐—ฒ๐—ป๐˜๐—น๐˜† ๐—ฎ๐—ป๐—ฑ ๐˜๐—ต๐—ผ๐—ฟ๐—ผ๐˜‚๐—ด๐—ต๐—น๐˜†.

Here are 5 things only agile #CustomerSupport firms do differently:

We hyper-customizes our programs for every partner, industry, and market.

Contact us today so we can start planning your program, processes, and tea:

Open Access BPO 6 days ago
Each generation has its unique expectations and preferences from the brands that cater to them.

๐ƒ๐ข๐ฌ๐œ๐จ๐ฏ๐ž๐ซ ๐ก๐จ๐ฐ #๐‚๐ฎ๐ฌ๐ญ๐จ๐ฆ๐ž๐ซ๐„๐ฑ๐ฉ๐ž๐ซ๐ข๐ž๐ง๐œ๐ž ๐ฏ๐š๐ซ๐ข๐ž๐ฌ ๐š๐œ๐ซ๐จ๐ฌ๐ฌ ๐ ๐ž๐ง๐ž๐ซ๐š๐ญ๐ข๐จ๐ง๐ฌ ๐š๐ง๐ ๐ฅ๐ž๐š๐ซ๐ง ๐ก๐จ๐ฐ ๐ฒ๐จ๐ฎ ๐œ๐š๐ง ๐ฌ๐š๐ญ๐ข๐ฌ๐Ÿ๐ฒ ๐ž๐š๐œ๐ก:

Expand your reach and cater to diverse markets with our 24/7 multilingual services:

#WeSpeakYourLanguage #CX
#CustomerSatisfaction #CSat
#CustomerService #CustomerSupport
Open Access BPO 10 days ago
Open Access BPO CEO Benjamin Davidowitz recently organized an Easter community initiative in Poblacion, a district within Makati City, Philippines.

The event is part of his annual tradition, which aims to provide nutritious meals to those in need while bringing smiles to children through balloon giveaways.

This year commemorates the 7th consecutive year of the initiative, facilitated with the support of volunteers from Open Access BPO, who assisted in distributing 1,000 meals and 700 balloons.

Read the full article to learn more about this heartwarming initiative:

#OABPOcares #CorpSocialResp
Open Access BPO 17 days ago
Customers are more likely to stay loyal to brands that build meaningful ties with them. This entails conversational interactions.

If your agents are still not adopting a humanized tone, you need to update your #CustomerService strategy:

Supercharge #CustomerExperience with our skilled teams, hyper-customized ops strategies, training programs, and optimized tech tools:

#CustomerSupport #CX
#CSat #CustomerSatisfaction
Open Access BPO