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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. However, dealing with difficult customers daily requires a lot of patience; otherwise, it will create many problems for the customer support agents.

For beginners, dealing with an angry and frustrated person, be it a customer, a friend, or a family member, is always unpleasant. In personal life, the situation might get resolved with time. However, when working in customer support service, it is necessary to address the situation immediately as well as come up with the best possible solution in the shortest time to resolve the issue. 

Suppose you are a customer support agent looking for creative strategies to resolve the concerns 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?

De-escalation is behavior aimed to calm down your opponent and get out of the conflict situation altogether. It is a must-have skill in modern customer support service. As customers are the heart of every business, you will not be able to achieve your business goals without happy and satisfied customers. That's why every business or brand owner should invest in excellent customer support service and look for ways to improve it. 

Calming down the 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 center de-escalation techniques can help you maintain respectful troubleshooting conversations with your customers and enhance the productiveness of your business. 

However, de-escalation techniques often feel unnatural because when customer support agents are faced with a highly intense confrontation, they are naturally driven to fight, flight or freeze. Therefore, while handling confrontation, it is the responsibility of 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 employ to keep your customers calm and satisfied while you are trying to support them are:

Stay calm

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

Therefore, it is necessary not to take these conversations personally and stay calm throughout the interaction. To handle dissatisfied customers effectively, you should try to leave your emotions out of the conversation and maintain a polite tone. It will help you calm down your angry customer and find the root 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 speak everything they need to say. The feeling of not conveying everything in their heart will make them more angry and frustrated. 

When customers come to you for support, all they want is to be heard. So, let them speak whatever they want to say and listen actively. Avoid interrupting them even if you understand the problem or are aware of the best possible solution. Let them complete first. 

Script your response

If you feel that you will come across a challenging customer interaction in your 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.  You can then practice these conversations with a trusted friend to see how your script will work in real-life scenarios. 

Preparing a script and rehearsing it with someone trusted 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

Must understand 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 will lose your patience and start yelling at your customer, which is definitely against your company's customer service policies. While interacting with a difficult customer, leave your emotions out of the conversation.  

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. 

While dealing with a difficult customer yelling at you, you might wonder, "How to de-escalate the challenging situation." The best approach is to listen to them actively without interrupting them. 

Use appropriate body language and also make them feel that you are listening to their concerns carefully. 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. 

Avoid trying to lighten their mood by cracking a joke. Instead, listen to your unhappy customers with the intent to understand them. Then, at the end of their rant, you will be closer to finding a solution to their problems.

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 anger and frustrations. Therefore, some customers will want support agents to confirm that their anger or frustrations are 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.

De-Escalation Training for Customer Service 

Winning back customers when they are upset and dissatisfied with your company or brand is essential for your business's success. However, it can only be done if you have provided de-escalation training for customer service to your customer support staff.

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 recognize, understand, and manage their emotions during customer interaction

It is important to teach your customer service operators to leave their emotions out of the conversation while interacting with customers. It is their job to understand and acknowledge the concerns of unhappy customers. It is important to let them know that their anger or frustration is valid to calm down the angry customer. 

It will open the door for having a normal conversation with them and finding the best possible solution to their problem. However, always give your customers multiple choices as one solution might not fit all. 

It is necessary to train your customer support agents to stay calm and polite throughout the customer interaction to offer good customer service. In addition, they should always try to accommodate their customers and prevent further similar issues from emerging. 

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. The major EQ concepts to employ in your customer support service are empathy,  awareness of others, self-regulation, and many others. 

To increase the emotional intelligence of your customer support agents, you need to train them to become good listeners and problem solvers. In addition, they should be able to tailor their response to each customer. 

Teach your customer support agents to swallow their pride as finding who is right will never be an important issue. Instead, they should avoid getting into a battle with the customer as upsetting the customer will cost them a lot in the future. 


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 many angry customers daily. So, you must know how to de-escalate the situation and basic techniques to make your job more attractive and straightforward. In order to make the customer service of your company or brand good, contact us to 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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