For call center dads like me, work is defined as an activity that involves your mental as well as physical effort in order to achieve your purpose or your intended result.  That definition suggests that work is not an easy matter. Just like any other form of work, working as a call center agent in the Philippines has its challenges and in most cases, it is actually more challenging compared to some desk-jobs. 

Most Filipino call center agents will surely agree that by far, the biggest challenge, aside from knowing the product, mastering the tools and resolving issues, is handling irate callers.  Some callers can really be mean and nasty as if you were responsible for whatever issue they happen to be encountering. Some callers seem to come from hell itself.

So here are some insights on how to survive stressful calls and handle irate callers. 

As a call center agent in the Philippines, always remember that there are those who are frustrated with the service your company offers and since you represent the company, they blame you for the issue they have encountered as if you were responsible for it or have anything to do with it.  While some just want to vent out their anger on someone and that someone happens to be you.  

As a call center agent, you get to encounter different people with different personalities.  The key to survival in this kind of job is to never take the call personally.  Remember that these callers are not exactly mad at you, precisely because they have no reason to be – so, make sure not to give them a reason to.  Therefore, your task as an agent is to pacify the caller first by empathizing with him and second, by assuring him that you were trained to address his concern.  Once you have them on your side, they will be willing to work with you.  However, there may be some callers who stay aloof for whatever reason –maybe, they’ve had some bad experience with customer service before, but you just have to focus on doing your best to help this caller the best way you can.  Remember -- working in a call center is not just a job, but rather, an opportunity to help someone.

Anyway, the best way you can help your caller is first, by listening intently on what problem the caller has encountered -- therefore, bringing it to your attention.  Be sure to ask all the right question to make sure you obtain all the necessary information to address his/her concern.  Make sure that you jot down all the important details so that you do not forget them.  These details can help you analyze the problem and plan on your most suitable solution.  

In some instances, there are callers who checks on you whether or not you were able to write down and understand their concerns.  Most call center veterans know that especially with irate callers, failing to take notes about their concern, kind of makes them doubt your sincerity to help them or your ability to fix things.  

Being a call center agent who does not understand a callers concern will add to the customers frustration. This will make them even more irate. 

On the other hand, giving your caller your full attention, somehow assures him/her that you are indeed sincerely willing to help.  Once you have the caller’s trust that you are there to help him or her solve whatever issue or issues he or she is encountering with your product, then both of you can work together more efficiently in getting the issue resolved.

So to handle irate callers in a call center. 


Jot down notes

Show empathy - put yourselves in their shoes.

Focus on the problem and make sure you understand it.

Then pause and try to think - IF you were the caller, what words/solution would you want to hear.

If the decision is beyond your jurisdiction, reiterate the problem and inform the caller that you will get back to them.

Be calm and professional at all times.

Pro TIP: Irate callers and people will always be a part of life. IF you learn to deal with irate callers in a call center, you will hone a skill that you may use for life.

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