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Customer Acquisiton

De-Escalation Techniques for Customer Service

July 23, 2021
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It is the reality of the customer service field that customer service agents will often encounter concerned, dissatisfied, angry, and frustrated customers. Unfortunately, it is a rule of modern businesses that customers are always right. Dealing with difficult customers on a daily basis requires a lot of patience, otherwise, it will lead to miscommunication and frustration for both the agent and the client.

For an average person, dealing with an angry and frustrated person, whether it is a customer, a friend, or a family member, is always unpleasant. And if in one's off-work life the situation might get resolved with time, working in customer support service, it is necessary to address the situation immediately as well as come up with the optimal solution in the shortest time to resolve the issue.

Suppose you are a customer support agent looking for effective strategies to resolve the issues faced by upset clients. In that case, you should consider employing de-escalation techniques for customer service in your day-to-day duties.

What Is De-Escalation in Communication?

De-escalation is a behaviour type aimed at calming down your opponent and get out of the conflict situation altogether. It is a must-have skill in modern customer support service. It is known that customers are the heart of every business, therefore, happy and satisfied customers are the core of achieving business goals. That is why every business or brand owner should invest in excellent customer support service and look for ways to improve it.

Calming down angry and upset customers is the first step to successfully resolving the issues they have with your product or services. However, not every customer is going to express their anger or frustration in the same way. In addition, every customer is unique, which means you will come across several types of expressions of anger and dissatisfaction. 

De-Escalation Techniques to Use in Customer Service 

As a customer support agent, using call centre de-escalation techniques can help you maintain respectful troubleshooting conversations with your customers and enhance the efficiency of your work.

However, de-escalation techniques often feel unnatural, because when people are faced with an intense confrontation, they are naturally driven to fight, flight or freeze. Therefore, while handling confrontation, it is a skill for customer support staff to avoid what comes naturally. 

Some of the most common negative responses, that customer service agents should avoid, are:

  • Getting angry back: raising your voice, interrupting the customer repeatedly, or speaking disrespectfully will only make the customer feel more upset and unsatisfied.
  • Feeling intimidated: being overly apologetic will allow the customer to take control of the interaction.
  • Escaping: trying to end the call, transferring it to another employee, or putting your customers on hold unnecessarily will make them feel insulted and unhappy with your services.

So, to make sure that your customers have a positive experience with your brand or company, it is necessary to employ de-escalation techniques for customer service. In addition, it will help you in streamlining your processes and dealing with customer complaints more effectively. 

Some of the de-escalation techniques that you can implement to keep your customers calm and satisfied, while you are trying to help them, are:

Stay calm

When customers come to you for support, they may feel frustration, anger, or dissatisfaction, and actively express them in communication. It can be pretty challenging for you not to lose your patience at that time. But, it is important to keep in mind that customers are not upset with you: they are not satisfied with a particular product or service your company provides.

Therefore, it is necessary to separate yourself from the issue and stay calm throughout the interaction. To handle dissatisfied customers effectively, try to not mix in the emotions into the conversation and maintain a polite tone. It will help you calm down your angry customer and find the problem causing their concerns.

people are working

Let your customer speak up

While dealing with angry and upset customers, it is essential to let them say everything they need to say. The feeling of not conveying everything they collected in their head before starting the conversation, will only make them more angry and frustrated. Instead, let them speak, and listen actively. Avoid interrupting them even if you already understand the problem or are aware of the best solution for this case.

When customers come to you for support, all they want is to be heard. Let them finish, for start. 

Script your response

If you feel that you will come across a challenging customer interaction in your job role at some point, it is better to prepare for such instances beforehand by scripting your response

For scripting your response, you can practice responding to different customer concerns such as delivery issues, hidden charges, poor quality of products or services, etc. Having written down the key points for these interactions you can practice having these conversations with a friend to see how your script will work in real-life scenarios.

Preparing a script and rehearsing it with someone you are comfortable with, will help you stay confident and maintain a steady tone when your customers express their anger, frustration, and dissatisfaction.

women is writing

Don't take it personally

Keep in mind, that your customers do not have something against you. They are unhappy with a particular product or service of the company you are working for. So, there is no need to take their remarks personally.

When you start taking things personally, you end up losing your patience and start raising the tone at your customer, which is most definitely against your company's customer service policies. Remember, that neither you, nor the customer are the problem, and while you are interacting with each other, the subject of your attention must remain the issue you both want to solve.

Listen more than you speak

In many cases, customers contact customer support agents to express their concerns and frustrations, and find solutions for their problems which means they are looking for someone to listen and help them, not someone to tell them why they might be wrong.

Listen, don't interrupt, do not correct. Then propose a solution and ask their opinion on it.

Use appropriate body language and make them feel that you are listening to their concerns carefully even if they cannot actually see you. Avoid trying to lighten their mood by cracking a joke. Instead, listen to your unhappy customers with the intent to understand them.

By listening to them actively, you will be able to calm down the customer. Once the customer is calm and willing to listen, you can have a normal conversation with them. 

man is listening

Thank the person for the feedback 

While customers typically approach customer service agents to resolve their issues, they may also want validation for their feelings, provoked by the unpleasant user experience. Therefore, some customers want to hear support agents confirming that their anger or frustration is valid.

You might consider using statements like "Thank you for your feedback" or "I'm going to do my best to resolve your issue." These statements will make your customer feel valued and appreciated. Their complaints will also help you improve the quality of your products and services in the long run. provide

De-Escalation Training for Customer Service 

Winning back customers admiration when they are upset and dissatisfied with your company or brand is essential for your business's success. It can easily be achieved if you have equipped your customer support staff with de-escalation training for customer service.

Your customer support staff needs the proper training to effectively handle angry customers' calls, making them feel appreciated and valued. Some of the important training tips for your support agents are: 

Teach operators to recognise, understand, and manage their emotions during customer interaction

It is important to teach your customer service operators to keep their emotions out of the conversation while interacting with customers. Understanding and acknowledging the concerns of unhappy customers is a valuable skill for a support agent and lets the client know that their anger or frustration is valid, which leads to calmer conversations. 

Toning down the conversation with the customer eventually leads to locating the issue and finding the solution for their problem.

Training your customer support agents to stay calm and polite throughout the customer interaction also maintains your business public status and positive user experience by converting problems to solutions and improvement of the product or service.

Apply EQ concepts to overall customer interaction

Applying emotional intelligence concepts to your overall customer interaction can help boost your sales and enhance the productivity of your business operations. The major EQ concepts to employ in your customer support service are empathy,  awareness of others, self-regulation. 

To increase the emotional quotient of your customer support, you need to train your support agents in active listening and problem solving. In addition, they should be able to tailor their response according to the particular customer mood.


De-escalation is a challenging task, but you will keep your customers happy and satisfied with effective de-escalation techniques for customer service. As a customer support agent, you will come across some angry customers daily. So, you must know how to de-escalate the situation to put both you and the client in a better mood, using basic techniques to make your job more pleasant and efficient. In order to elevate customer service of your company or brand, contact us and create an efficient customer service experience by providing support to them in 11+ languages. Let us provide support services at a level worthy of your customers.

Customer Acquisiton

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