You love your customers, you do, but sometimes it’s hard to manage so many demands, requests and outright challenges.

That’s understandable, as some people can be frustrating, stubborn and downright mean when it comes to calling in to your office or call center. The good news is that a good customer service experience should also be one where the customer service representative, receptionist or business owner is in control of the conversation.

It all starts with remaining calm and positive, no matter what that angry or upset person on the other end of the line may be throwing at you. We’ve got some tips from our experts to guide you on your way.

Getting in the Right Headspace

Whether you’re answering phone calls in a customer call center or just in your office, you’re going to encounter a few calls that are really quite difficult to handle.

These callers shouldn’t just be dismissed and written off and you definitely don’t want to get into a shouting match with them. Instead, the trick is to maintain a positive attitude and keep control of the call.

Here are some tips to do just that:

  • Realize that the anger isn’t about you, even if they say it’s about you. Take a deep breath. If someone is really upset, they’re not going to calm down by being told to calm down or by your responding in kind. Instead, repeat to yourself over and over again that this customer is angry about something else.

    Maybe they’ve been having problems at work or recently lost a pet and the issue with your product was just sort of the straw that broke the camel’s mind. We’ve all been there. Let them rage a little bit, then calmly ask them how you can help.

  • Practice active listening, sometimes there are gems to be mined. One of the biggest failures in customer service is listening too little and scripting too much. Instead of focusing on what you’re supposed to say next, or what you plan to say next, listen to the caller.

    If you’re trying to stay positive, the call already isn’t going well, but you can salvage it if you show that you’re genuinely interested in solving their issue. Listen intently, formulate a plan for fixing whatever’s wrong, ask questions that further the conversation. That caller will appreciate that you’re hearing them and come around.

  • Put yourself in the customer’s shoes. Above all else, no matter what customers throw at you, try to turn the situation around and imagine yourself from their seat. How would you feel if you got your product and it was damaged or someone was really rude to you when you called to ask a simple question?

    Be generous in your communications by trading places with your caller, you’ll feel better and your call will go much smoother.

Staying positive during customer calls can be a real challenge, that’s why so many businesses turn their telephones over to customer service representatives or answering service companies. But if you’re going to brave your own callers, it can’t hurt to walk away from your office with a smile on your face rather than a scowl. There’s always a way to stay on the sunny side, even when dealing with customers surrounded by storm clouds.