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How to Use De-escalation Techniques with Customers

Dealing with angry customers can be stressful and unsettling, but it doesn’t have to be if you use de-escalation techniques. It’s important to stay calm, cool, and collected in the face of a customer’s anger. Dealing with a customer who is angry is not as difficult as it seems, and there are several strategies you can use to defuse the situation and keep the peace. Here are some of the ways how to de-escalate a customer.

De-escalation Best Practices

There are some de-escalation strategies and best practices to remember when dealing with an angry or frustrated customer:

Stay Calm

The most important part of defusing an angry customer is staying calm. You want to avoid becoming agitated yourself. This will make you seem unreasonable, which will only make the customer angrier.

Thank the Customer for Bringing the Situation to Your Attention

One of the first things that you should do is to thank the customer for bringing the situation to your attention. Most customers want to feel valued, and it’s important that they feel as if you hear them. This will help defuse their anger and put them at ease.

Use an Open-Ended Conversation

Some customers will not be happy with what you are saying, so you may need to use an open-ended conversation where you go back and forth between presenting their grievances and addressing their concerns. You can use an open-ended conversation to diffuse the customer’s anger, and at the same time, explain your side of things. This will keep you from losing your temper, and it will help you present your company’s perspective.


When the customer is talking, really listen. Do not interrupt unless they are saying things that are clearly wrong or are causing problems. You can nod occasionally to show you are still listening. If the customer is raising or defending a valid point, try to find a way to address their issue as well.

Keep Things Professional

Sometimes, a customer will get angry if they have not been treated well during a sale or their problem has not been solved to their satisfaction. You should never argue with a customer or try to belittle them. This will only make the situation worse and is likely to undermine your credibility. Stay calm, be professional, and remember that you are in control of the situation. 

Define the Problem

Before the customer starts complaining, you need to explicitly define the problem so they know what you are talking about. Ask clarity questions to get a better understanding of the situation, and before you speak, make sure that you fully understand the problem. Remember that when the customer is angry, their thoughts may not be linear or coherent.

Avoid Personal Comments

Under no circumstances should you make any personal comments about the customer. This only causes friction between you and your customer and will not help de-escalate the situation. You also want to avoid making sarcastic comments or jokes at the expense of the customer.

Summarize the Issue

Once you have defined the problem, it is time to summarize the issue for the customer. Try to do this without getting emotional yourself, as it will only make the customer angrier. By summarizing the issue, you are saying clearly and concisely exactly what the problem is. 

Ask if You Can Help

Finally, ask if you can help. This is a way to show that you understand the customer’s issue, and to give them an option for how to proceed. You can also offer to help in any way that you can. Remember to be respectful and courteous, and you will be in a much better position to control the situation.

Help the Customer Find a Solution

Once the customer has decided how they want to proceed, you can help them find a solution. Angry customers can be difficult to deal with, but it is important to stay calm and use positive communication skills. Stay focused on the customer’s specific problem, define the problem clearly, and try to resolve the issue for the customer. 

Once you have defined the problem, listen to what the customer has to say. When the customer is done talking, summarize the conversation back to them so that you are sure that you understand their perspective. This will help calm them down and allow them to see how your point of view may look different from theirs. After summarizing, ask if you can help them find a solution. If they want a refund or want to return a product, need an exchange, or just want some information, offer to help.

Benefits of Using De-Escalation Techniques in Customer Service Interactions

When a customer feels your business wronged them, it is almost guaranteed that they will feel angry. The best you can do in these situations is to de-escalate the customer and help them to regain their composure before developing a solution. There are many benefits of de-escalation techniques that will help you to deal with an angry customer.

Help to Build Trust

One of the main reasons why businesses use de-escalation techniques is because it helps you to build trust with your customers. Trust is something that will be lost at the slightest hint of anger, and it can be incredibly difficult to regain. Through performing de-escalation techniques, you will allow your customers to put their trust in you again. However, trust is something that is earned and not something that can be given at will. You must earn your customer’s trust with the right techniques and then build on that trust to create a lasting relationship. This can positively impact your business over the long term.

Develop a Solution Together

If possible, you should always try to develop a solution with your customers. You should never try to argue or fight with an angry customer at all, as this will only add to their anger. Instead, try to find a way to talk through the issue together. This way, you’ll develop a solution that works for everyone and the customer can own part of the process. 

This type of approach will help to prevent the anger from escalating, and it will lead to a quicker resolution. You should never underestimate the power of talking through an issue with someone; it is often much easier to solve things when you work through it.

You Can Develop a More Positive Relationship With Your Customers

our customers will come to see you in a more positive light. This is particularly true if they were previously upset, as they will feel you have helped them and made them feel better. This will make it much easier for them to approach you in the future and help your business develop a more lasting relationship with them. 

Better Handling of Incidents

The right de-escalation techniques will help you to handle any incidents that come your way. Whether it is a customer who is angry, upset, or even just rude, you must use the right techniques to deal with them. By doing so, you will be able to avoid creating an even bigger problem for yourself in the future.

Improved Customer Loyalty and Retention

Improving customer loyalty and retention is the aim of all businesses, and this can be done by ensuring you use the right de-escalation techniques. By doing so, you will be able to keep customers happy and eager to return to your business in the future. Your business will also benefit from their loyalty as they will be more likely to recommend your business to their friends, family members, and colleagues. When customers are happy with their interactions, they are more likely to remain loyal to your business.

When you think about your own experiences with customer services, are you likely to continue to frequent businesses that don’t take your concerns seriously or listen to your complaints? Your customers are similar in that they want to engage with companies that stand behind their services and products, and that they have some sort of recourse, even if this just means having a good customer support team in place.

Contact Answer Aide to Learn More

There are many benefits to using de-escalation techniques with your customers. By simply avoiding a situation that is escalating and then working with your customer to overcome the issue, you will be able to develop a more trusting and lasting relationship. This can have a positive impact on your business over the long term.

If you want to reduce the number of customer interactions you have to de-escalate, you can work with an answering service to manage your business’s calls. Professional customer service representatives can serve as the first line of defense against customer dissatisfaction. Choose an answering service with employees trained in de-escalation techniques to effectively manage customers.

If you’re ready to get started with a professional answering service, we’re here to help. Contact Answer Aide by calling (866) 427-3500 or by filling out our online form. We’re happy to partner with you to help preserve customer relationships and ensure a positive experience.


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