At what point are you allowed to hang up on a caller?

Call Centre Helper Forum » Call Centre Life

(22 posts)

This question has been sent in to us by one of our readers.

Please post a reply below, if you are able to help....Thanks!

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I work in a call centre as a customer service agent within the vehicle insurance industry, for a broker. I regularly get some remarkably incompetent as well as rude callers asking me to keep the insurance running while they are in financial difficulty and cannot pay as well as other unreasonable expectations.

This can result in a lengthy discussion that simply goes around in circles - this is incredibly frustrating to me as a lowly-paid call centre agent as I and others not only get our productivity that day destroyed and regularly end up going home at say 6:20pm instead of 6:00pm because we are under the impression that we are not legally allowed to hang up on customers unless they are telling us to "f*** off" or use other abusive language, which as customer service staff already regularly get.

Is this legally true or not?

Some guy was on the phone the other day who had been told exactly the same message SEVEN TIMES and for some reason despite the fact several people told him it he still didn't believe or accept it.

Under such a circumstance where something has been clearly explained to a client who says they don't agree to accept it, is it ok to politely warn and hang up on a customer then?

I regularly have to spend 20 minutes talking to someone who is on the belief if they keep on asking for it, they'll get free insurance or some other incredibly unreasonable expectation. It's all very well saying people must be protected by businesses, but who is protecting the mental well being of lowly-paid front line staff???

Can you provide clarification on what circumstances staff can hang up on a customer please?

Posted 3 years ago

Hey,
To let you understand about this I need to share this example with you.Then you decide yourself.

Not too long ago I was actually hung up on by a company. I made a comment about an email the company sent me being awfully vague (I believe I said “You should probably work on your pre-defined responses.”) and the representative told me to call back when I had calmed down and hung up. I’ve had never been hung up on by a customer service representative before that and there were some other people in the room that heard what I was saying and they agreed I wasn’t rude.

The reason that particular representative hung up on me is probably because she was A) overly sensitive, B) having a bad day, C) not well trained/informed as to when a customer should be hung up on, or most likely, a combination of all three.

Your rules as to when a customer should be hung up on should be crystal clear. There shouldn’t be one bit of uncertainty as to when to hang up on a customer. An example operating procedure would be:

If a customer is cursing:

* Tell the customer that cursing/using profanity will not help solve their problem and that they should calm down.
* If the customer continues to curse, say if they curse again, you will have to hang up on them and they can call back once they’ve calmed down.
* If the customer continues to curse, say “I’m sorry, but you’re going to have call back once you’ve calmed down.” and hang up immediately.
* Describe the situation in the call log and make a note of it in the customer’s account.

That’s a very effective operating procedure. It’s not a script, but general guidelines as to what the representative should do. That way when the customer calls back an hour later, the next representative can be prepared for what may happen (a rude and angry customer) and if the customer service representative isn’t good with those situations, transfer the call to someone else.

The reasons to hang up on a customer vary from company to company, but here are some other possible reasons:

* He/she is making constantly personal insults against the representative (e. g. you’re a worthless idiot)
* He/she is constantly yelling or screaming.
* He/she is being consistently arrogant and completely refuses to listen to logic (e. g. keeps insisting that he/she is right and that the representative is wrong, regardless of the information being presented)
* Any physical threats and other extreme things of that nature.

As a front-line employee, what reasons are there when you should hang up on customers. You should be able to get a fairly good list fairly quickly. Once you have the situations, develop an operating procedure for each one. For most instances, the customer should get at least one warning prior to being hung up on. A lot of times, companies will transfer angry customers to a supervisor or manager who will deal with the issue. It really depends on the company and the company’s culture.

However, Please don't hang up on a customer just because you will be late by 10-20 minutes.

Regards
Sushil Singh

Posted 3 years ago

Great post and I look forward to hearing responses from any senior managers in the insurance sector as to their policy.

Certainly when I worked at BT many years ago we were trained to deal with a call to a certain level then escalate it to a manager or team leader. I would strongly recommend against allowing agents to hang up on clients "unless they are abusive" and train the supervisors and managers to deal with such queries as effectively as possible.

Jason

Posted 3 years ago

Thanks Jason,

And yes I agree with you on the same, even abusive calls could be transferred to a mature or good caller and could be resolved. We follow the same culture.

Regards
Sushil Singh

Posted 3 years ago

Hi,

I had emailed in the query originally for the website to write an article on this as a different point of view, one that cares about front line staff as opposed to just the customer.

With regards to Suhils post, yes hanging up on someone who is rude is only suitable after warning them they are being abusive. However, my post is not just on rude people, it is on people who go around in circles trying to get something for nothing, people who can't be bothered to read their insurance documents and then get angry when they discover at the point of making a claim that they do not have what they expected to. These people are under the belief if they try to force their view on the world to the customer service agent they will magically get their way, passing this onto someone else such as a team leader, is not always possible as the team leader *may not take the call* unless the customer asks for it, in which case, they will get a call back from the team leader, when the team leader has time to, they will not be passed through. In such a circumstance you may still have some idiot saying "right, well I will stay on the phone until they are free" - unbelievable...

Posted 3 years ago

This is a brilliant question! As previously mentioned, your call centre should have clear guidelines on when it acceptable to end a call and the script to use to firstly warn the customer and then before actually pressing the release button.

Abusive callers are one thing, and generally it is accepted that you may release the call after sufficient warnings.

As for the customer who wont hang up for the sake of been awkward and arguementative, silence is a wonderful tool! When you can get a word in (which will be sooner than you think if the other person hears nothing),calmly explain that your conversation has reached its conclusion and you can't add anything more. The silence (or active listening, depending on how you look on it!) will make the caller uncomfortable and they will soon realise the game is up, if a customer wants to escalate to a team leader you just need to calmly explain that the TL will say exactly the same as you have already said, and it will avoid the escalation most of the time.

The situation you describe is often one that only gets easier with experience...sometimes all the training in the world can't prepare you for Mr or Mrs Obnoxious!

Posted 3 years ago

@interpid explorer

not sure describing a client as "some idiot" for wishing escalation is the type of attitude I would accept form a company I was dealing with.

I have worked in FS for over 20 years, and the wording of some documentation still baffles me, as Companys clearly ignore the campaign for real English, and seek to make their documentation as convoluted as possible.

Often the "going round in circles" scenario is a result of improperly trained staff, staff who are belligerently intransigent, or that the staff member is not given the latitude to actually make a decision based on any form of initiative. These are all issues which the Company needs to consider.

To default to "The customer is an idiot" is, in my opinion, a bigger problem, and sadly endemic in the UK customer service sector, than rude customers.

Posted 3 years ago

@James C

While you make an excellent point in your post and quite often what you have said is correct, but this is a forum for call centres as a general, while I can see most members are of a managerial capacity, this doesn't mean we can't answer a question or query which has almost always been a problem of anyone who has been a call centre advisor.

Whilst your command of big, long words is clearly better than mine, and maybe that of most members on here, it does not give you the right to latch onto a submission that is written in the security of these forums, god forbid, I would think the last thing intrepid explorer would do is actually call someone an idiot on the phone.

If you have ever worked as a call centre operative I believe you would connect with intrepid explorers comment, and quite honestly, 'in my opinion, a bigger problem, and sadly endemic in the UK customer service sector, are pompous, arguementative, ignorant people who treat call centre operatives with contempt and rude behaviour.

I certainly expect my advisors to take every customer on their merit and 99.9% there is no problem, the scenario this thread is about I should hope is a rare occurance, but one an advisor quite rightly asked for help with...

Posted 3 years ago

The idiot callers and the idiot call centre agents are one and the same. They go to work people call them, they get angry with the people because they can't understand what seems obvious to the call centre worker now that they have done it repeatedly for 5 years, then they go home, their telly doesn't work, they call a call centre and the roles are reversed ...

... round and round ...

... with no consciousness of this cycle.

Then there are the minority. Those who are awake.

THE END

(Now leave your petty squabble as you only demonstrate yourselves to be in the former group, with me, and it is a bit grubby in here.)

Back to topic:
This whole thing is backwards, for sure.

I think this notion that abuse to the employee should have to be constant before they are allowed to remove themselves from the situation is shameful. The employee has a right to not be abused. I've worked in many industries and the only situation where an abusive customer would remain a customer is if the abuse had been delivered over a telephone into a call centre.

When I worked on the phone I would terminate calls at the first point of abuse and I now, as a business manager, encourage that ethos.

I am also in favour of customer being contacted back and advised that their behaviour will not be tolerated and any further incidents may result in the termination of their custom with our business and possible legal action. Not yet been able to convince my colleagues of this one.

Customers who just won't accept reality are a different issue. There is no simple answer for this. You need to work on your communication skills, that is all you can control in this situation.

There is an NLP principle that I like (I am no adherent to NLP) that says
"The meaning of your communication is the response that you get"

If you think this way and try to adapt your communication with this in mind, you will, over time, develop the necessary communication skills to bring all of those calls to a satisfactory and timely solution for all parties.

It can not be solved by having a clear set of rules on when to hang up that covers all eventualities. Some guidelines are a small but important part of the process. Necessary but not sufficient.

What you really need is employees who understand their systems, their industry, their processes and how to communicate.

Peace,

kowalski

Posted 3 years ago

I fully accept that this forum should offer a means for Call Centre Operatives to discuss their frustrations.

However does that mean that a balanced debate, giving both perspectives, is out the question?

Please accept my humblest of apologies for daring to offer a perspective that recognises, and acknowledges, that the Customer Service Sector in the UK is widely vilified for how it treats customers.

I started "front line" as it were, and progressed. No one starts out as a Manager.

And frankly I am tired of having to go to Team Leaders to receive a satisfactory response to a query when I have my "customer" hat on. However, I acknowledge much of the frustrations are borne form a distinct lack of autonomy within larger organisations, and I believe this is a challenge that we need to overcome if we are to start properly dealing with customers, without escalation being the only means of achieving customer satisfaction.

Finally - for the record - many customers can be obnoxious, intolerant, belligerent (yes that word again - sorry, but any Apprentice fan will have heard this word every week for ages....) unpleasant, impatient, etc etc. But a great % of them would be placated by the introduction of better practises in handling "spikey" issues.

You may not actually call a customer an "idiot", but it's clearly a formed opinion - so how can you remain calm, rational, helpful, constructive, and even conciliatory (if appropriate) and if you have already formed an (hopefully unspoken) viewpoint that the customer is an idiot?

In summary - don't be afraid to hear the other side of a debate my friend - it's good to listen, as well as talk.

Posted 3 years ago

@ Kowalski

Alot of very well made points there.

Don't agree that an exchange of views = petty squabble though.

Posted 3 years ago

Firstly a big thanks to the people on this forum for taking part in my thread. And to JoR for posting it on my behalf (please do not refer to my real name).

Wow, I am surprised at the huge jump of responses to this thread, though looking at the responses, I have thought to see how can we produce a way in which a telephone operator can end a call ASAP with an angry and dissatisfied customer who expected THE WORLD for the price of a vehicle insurance policy!

let me clarify a couple of things, firstly my use of the term "idiot" for James C - it was used in this fashion:-

I am a telephone operator who is employed not to speak to one customer for hours on end but employed to speak to 100+ customers a day, and this means when someone says they are happy to "stay on the line" to get a satisfactory response (in their favour) from someone other than the experienced telephone operator, and "hold" for, I don't know, one hour or two of time, to be served by a team leader who will repeat EXACTLY what I have stated as per clients terms and conditions (which 99% of people cannot be bothered to read), well, that is not going to let me hit MY target of 100 clients a day and most certainly wont be beneficial to the clients who are waiting to be served by my colleagues who are now busier than usual.

Please to all of you bare this in mind when you have a problem, the person at the end of the line may supposed to be doing 3 minute phone calls, not 30! Even on the faeces pay we are on, we still take some pride in the number of calls we can do in a day, its literally the ONLY job satisfaction a lowly paid call centre worker can get... Now, i am not saying we don't want to solve problems, if it takes half an hour to resolve a genuine problem, fair enough, if its half an hour of going around in circles, that's another story.

Idiots also include people who think they have to be "told" their insurance will be cancelled because they stopped paying their insurance when they have moved house and swop phone numbers so we could not tell them, without telling us. Idiots who presume they are covered for X,Y and Z in addition to the actual agreement they made, apparently, just because it would be 'convenient' to them...

Also at James C, going around in circles is NOT the result of improperly trained staff, I am talking about customers who think the phone conversation will magically go their way if they just keep on reiterating what they have said. Phenomenal!

Dave, brilliant to see another person here who actually cares for the point of view of front-line staff. All this people on TV who tell the audience to bark as loud as they can at the businesses they are dealing with, simply don't understand the people they are barking at are NOT in any way shape or form the business, they are shouting at staff who get faeces money for very long hours under very crappy circumstances.

@Dave, no, I certainly would not call someone an idiot on the phone, even if they are. I carefully explain things in a matter of fact way and they just don't like what they are hearing when it is not in their favour.

@ Kowlaski who wrote
"The idiot callers and the idiot call centre agents are one and the same. They go to work people call them, they get angry with the people because they can't understand what seems obvious to the call centre worker now that they have done it repeatedly for 5 years, then they go home, their telly doesn't work, they call a call centre and the roles are reversed ..."

NOPE! I CAN be bothered to read my terms and conditions of my insurance policies...

@Kowalski

"I think this notion that abuse to the employee should have to be constant before they are allowed to remove themselves from the situation is shameful. The employee has a right to not be abused. I've worked in many industries and the only situation where an abusive customer would remain a customer is if the abuse had been delivered over a telephone into a call centre."

Yes this is shameful. And the sad thing is customers do get to remain customers, yet if I abused other staff members the way I get abused everyday, I wouldn't last long as an employee there...

"When I worked on the phone I would terminate calls at the first point of abuse and I now, as a business manager, encourage that ethos."

I don't suppose you are recruiting? I'm a business graduate LOL...

"If you think this way and try to adapt your communication with this in mind, you will, over time, develop the necessary communication skills to bring all of those calls to a satisfactory and timely solution for all parties."

Not when you are talking to a persistent idiot.

@james C who wrote "And frankly I am tired of having to go to Team Leaders to receive a satisfactory response to a query when I have my "customer" hat on. However, I acknowledge much of the frustrations are borne form a distinct lack of autonomy within larger organisations, and I believe this is a challenge that we need to overcome if we are to start properly dealing with customers, without escalation being the only means of achieving customer satisfaction."

Yes, I once had a job when I had some authority to make something high priority if it were already on low and this had to be used appropriately, I also had a shop job where I could issue a £10 customer care voucher to help situations, this was great. In this job I am in, I NEED internet access t help do things quickly like find a dealers website to ascertain their email address or whatever, yet it is restricted to just the team leader, ridiculous.

"You may not actually call a customer an "idiot", but it's clearly a formed opinion - so how can you remain calm, rational, helpful, constructive, and even conciliatory (if appropriate) and if you have already formed an (hopefully unspoken) viewpoint that the customer is an idiot? "

Easily done my friend! You just stick to the facts! How would you like it, if I called you and wasted half an hour of your time???

Cheers everyone,

Posted 3 years ago

Hi James,

"Alot of very well made points there.

Don't agree that an exchange of views = petty squabble though."

Thank you. The bit about it being a petty squabble was a joke.

Intrepid_Explorer,

Do you not see that by referring the problem outside of yourself you are creating conditions for a solution which you have no control over? Meaning you will have this problem forever.

You seem to believe that you are an advanced communicator already, you are not.

In this thread you have, as many people do nowadays, used "@" before a name to show that you are communicating with that person. @ = at. I find that rude. I don't want to be talked or posted at. So, if I was your customer, we'd already have got off to a bad start. You also repeatedly used a capital k at the start of my name, even though I do not do this myself. I also find this rude, that you do not have the attention to detail to even get my name right. So by the time you had typed only one symbol and one word at me, things were already going badly for you as a communicator.

With this evidence in mind, maybe you will start to see that you are not the advanced communicator you previously thought yourself to be.

That you don't believe it is possible to talk these belligerent customers around is only because it is outside of your experience or belief. I.e you can not do it and you have not seen someone else who can do it, or you have seen someone else who can do it but you think that person is intrinsically different to you such that you couldn't do what they can do. That does not mean it can not be done, nor does it mean that it is something that you can not do. I have worked with people with psychological problems and even then it is possible to adapt your communication to get the responses you want.

Peace,

kowalski

Posted 3 years ago

@Kowalski,

I do not presume myself to be an advance communicator, although I don't see how this is remotely relevant as advance communication to an audience of those that this post is about, will clearly quite logically go into one ear and out of the other...

Presuming you are English speaking, as I am, I would expect you to also use a capital letter at the start of a name. It is you who is not communicating properly.

This is also an internet forum, so as a user of the internet since about 1995, I promise you, it is very much the custom to produce response posts with "@" at the start of a response, as is currently used in one of the worlds most popular used websites, youtube.com - and no, the missing of www. at the start of that was not a mistake.

"Do you not see that by referring the problem outside of yourself you are creating conditions for a solution which you have no control over? Meaning you will have this problem forever."

I fully understand this philosophy, however, you are not appreciating my original enquiry fully. I am talking about customers who DO NOT LISTEN and or DO NOT ACCEPT WHAT THEY ARE BEING TOLD. For example, there are 365 days in a year, if someone takes out insurance and they use it for 36.5 days before cancelling it, they may presume within their own logic, they should be refunded 90%, however, the scheme of refund may not produce a refund of exactly 90%, it may be 80% or 70% or even less. When you tell SOME customers this, they bombard you with their logic of how if they have only used 10% of the service they should get 90% of refund, regardless of the agenda of the business they are dealing with, that being, to make money and effectively fine people for early exit out of the contract.

"That you don't believe it is possible to talk these belligerent customers around is only because it is outside of your experience or belief. I.e you can not do it and you have not seen someone else who can do it, or you have seen someone else who can do it but you think that person is intrinsically different to you such that you couldn't do what they can do."

Nope, I am talking about people who will not take "no" for an answer.

Regards,

Posted 3 years ago

Wow!

If that is how this call centre worker generally does things, they will experience regular conflict. If I were their customer, I would now demand to speak to their manager too.

They've been exposed and it is clear to all that their attitude is responsible for the difficulties they are having. Every day at work they reap what they sow.

The OP asked if I was recruiting. Yes, I am recruiting but I don't recruit rude idiots, they get stuck on calls with customers they've wound up through idiocy and rudeness. There wouldn't be any point in the OP applying.

I empathise with the OP's customers. I wish they could be transferred to me or one of my team - we'd explain their insurance to them, for free, no problem.

"It is better to be a human being dissatisfied than a pig satisfied; better to be Socrates dissatisfied than a fool satisfied. And if the fool, or the pig, are of a different opinion, it is because they only know their own side of the question. The other party to the comparison knows both sides."
John Locke

I won't be contributing to this thread any more.

Peace,

kowalski

Posted 3 years ago

@kowalski

"we'd explain their insurance to them, for free, no problem."

"If I were their customer, I would now demand to speak to their manager too."
Just to be told the EXACT same thing? Where will that get you specifically?

Explaining insurance isn't the problem, their lack of ability to accept what is being said because it isn't convenient for them or they don't like what hey are hearing is the problem.

"I don't recruit rude idiots, they get stuck on calls with customers they've wound up through idiocy and rudeness. "

Where specifically have I stated any rude behaviour towards a client?? I am never rude on the phone! You have the nerve to imply I am a bad communicator and yet you don't understand my post at all.

It is kind of amusing what is happening on this list with kowalski is the kind of behaviour front line staff want to avoid while on the phone. Kowalski as an employer, possibly doesn't have a clue what his front line staff go through.

Posted 3 years ago

Sure, callers can be obnixious -- but I think a lot of their frustration stems from talking to agents without authority to make certain decisions or without the information to answer certain questions PLUS the fact that many agents are trained to do everything possible not to escalate a caller to someone who CAN help them.

I know from personal experience in call centers -- many of them have inadequate training and procedures that leads to the majority of these "problem" situations. I'm not a manager so it's frustrating to deal with this. After all, I'm the one who has to handle these people.

It's often this mismatch between the needs of the caller and ability to attend to these needs on the part of the agent that leads to that moment of hanging up. A caller with a question/concern/need who is talking to an agent who does not have the answer and instead has only a script telling the caller in kinder words "tough luck" -- this is a problem that our industry needs to deal with.

Of course, this isn't the way these situations always happen -- sometimes the caller has a grudge or just woke up on the wrong side of the bed or is just taking out anger on us. And that is the worst! But I would argue that what I described above accounts for much more (I would even argue "most") of these instances than we would care to admit.

Posted 2 years ago

If a caller gets irate and angry because he disagrees with an appropriately explained decision then there should be an escalation process and also clear guidelines when that kicks in.

Apart from that: if a customer gets really abusive my staff is applying their personal tolerance levels and nothing else. They will flag up any such calls for a review, but that's it.

It's that easy!

Posted 2 years ago

In the US call centers who enforce a "no disconnect" rule may be violating federal law. Employers are tasked under EEOC and other employment mandates with protecting their workers from such things as sexual harasssment, abuse, racial discriminationand so on. You are not an employee of the client, you are an employee of the call center. One can easily read what EEOC defines as "harassment" and can read as well, management's legal obligation to prevent, investigate and hold accountable those who practice such in the workplace.

I work for a major call center employer, extremely well known. Of course the client dictates the terms of the contract and if the client has a "no disconnect" policy under which the call center could lose quality scores/revenue for a disconnected call.

However, it is illegal to compel a person in the US to particpate in a racial/sexual harssment situation no matter what. At the first hint of using common derogatory terms specific to females or minorities ( sa an example) you have the absolute legal right to disconnect the call without warning. further many US states have local laws which make such use of a telephone (even a business phone, even in another state) to communicate such language, punishable as a misdemeanor.

The "three strikes you're out" rule may sound reasonable but ask yourself this: if the coworker beside you called you racial slurs, would you wait for them to repeat it before heading to HR? NO US company can compel an employee to undergo certain types of illegal harasment. If you could document it, even by jotting down the time and a few details the call took place, you would absolutley win an unlawful discharge case in Federal court.

Call Centers who invoke a "no disconnect" rule are bottom feeders. This is NOT to say that dealing with irrate callers is expected, because it is. Furthermore, a "no disconnect' rule sets YOU the employee up to fail. It is not rational to expect a human being to endure abusive beahvior with no way out. You can lose your own job if you are forced to endure abuse with no recourse.

Just because we are on a telephone does not negate law. What do you think would happen if we were working behind a counter at Wal Mart and people said the things to us they say on the phone now? Security would be called and the person may or may not be escorted off the premises. The difference? Legally as a call center wokrer you are NOT employed by the paying clinet to whose customer you are speaking.

Recently I was on a call with a gentleman who could easily detect my "southern accent" In his anger with the situation and at me for not telling him what he wanted to hear, he called me a "corn fed country F...". Honestly it was so creative, so perfect, I almost laughed.

That is totally differnet than if he say, were to berate me as being ignorant because of the region I live in etc,etc,etc. I did not respond to the insult and later, to his credit, he apologized and asked me to forgive him.

YOU know when you are being abused, targeted, denigrated. YOU know when a person is just upset and making some bad language choices too. In the latter, it is permissable to state in a calm voice that there is a "need" to keep things at a professional level. Most people calm down/back down after this.

We are human beings and as such, it is up to US to maintain the balance of our own dignity. I would argue all the way to court were I terminated because I hung up on some racist bigot who used racial insults on me.

Posted 2 years ago

Hi,

I don't think any company would say that HANG UP on some time as every call counts.It depends on cases.Client handling sessions are all about being patient but no one teaches "RESPOND HARSH" if the customer is going ballistic on the other side of the call.
Any consumer should also understand that they are talking to a fellow human.Of course escalation seniors is a great respite, but no sessions help when one is being abused.Humanity needs to come into the play here.

Thanks,
Ayush

Posted 2 years ago

I work for a call center, I used to be considered a manager (since then I've stepped down by my own desire), and my coworkers will still send calls my way when they go awry. Most customers will assume that since I am a female I am not the manager they want, and that I cannot help them. Unfortuantely for them, my managers do not handle phone calls because they are managers of multiple units and frankly, cannot help them as well as I can.

As a call center agent I have been threatened bodily harm, been called every name in the book, been told that they are going higher up than me (Which usually they try to jump over me and email in, unforunately for them I am also the one who handles those claims.) and I have been told they will go elsewhere to which I respond "I'm sorry you feel that way sir, but that will not change my decision."

I will say as a call center agent I am much more able to help a polite customer than I am a rude customer. Simply because I have rules I must follow for legalities, once a rude customer goes just a little too far they are told that I cannot help them any further at this point please have your legal services contact our legal services.

However, with a polite customer I am able to forgive charges, make adjustments, and I am more willing to stay late to make sure they are taken care of to the best of my ability. Rude customers, they just don't get that luxury. I have children so a temper tantrum is nothing for me, but once you start yelling at me I will switch from my ready to take on the world for you attitude to my distant reserved attitude. So according to policy I listen to their problems, I try to help them, I explain to them that yelling at me is only going to exacerbate the problem by changing my attitude toward them, and I am not the one who created the problem.

Often times they will back down a little bit when you explain to them that you are not the problem and the only reason you are still speaking to them is to try to fix their problem. If they don't and they still go around in circles yelling at me I mute them so they can't hear me and just let them yell for awhile and then let them hang up on their own terms.

Posted 2 years ago

Intrepid said: "passing this onto someone else such as a team leader, is not always possible as the team leader *may not take the call* unless the customer asks for it, in which case, they will get a call back from the team leader, when the team leader has time to, they will not be passed through. In such a circumstance you may still have some idiot saying "right, well I will stay on the phone until they are free" - unbelievable... "

I have had customers tell me the same thing. I politely say "I'm sorry but I cannot allow you to hold as we do have other customers waiting to talk to us but I would be happy to take a message and have my Supervisor call you back or I can put you through to his/her voice mail. Which would you prefer?" I have had great success with this method and the customer generally hangs up happy.

Posted 3 months ago

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