Customer Anger Triggers and Ways to Defuse Them [Infographic]


If you’re in technical support services, you probably know how it feels to deal with irate customers who come forward and discuss their woes. Speaking to a complaining client can be a dreadful situation, and may take a lot of patience, persuasion, and self-control on your part to make a fuming customer calm down.

Resolving conflicts with customers is not easy. But over time, you will learn the ways on how to control the situation. Know the source of the problem and what triggers your clients to be angry. It can help you understand your customers and appease their needs.

Understand the reasons why your customers are angry and know what you can do help them solve their problems. Here’s an infographic guide to help you out:



1. The product or service is not what they expected it to be.

If the customer finds the product or service too complicated, the ensuing anger might actually be a sign of that feeling of shame for not knowing how it’s supposed to work. Ask the customer to explain the difficulty in detail, making sure the customer doesn’t, in any way, feel that you are casting judgment.

If the product doesn’t work as what the customer claims, handle both the person and the issue. Empathize with the customer, listen until the ranting is over, apologize, and patch things up with speedy corrective measures.

Out of frustration, customers may resort to branding your service as the worst ever. Often, this is the result of unmet expectations because they assumed or missed some information.

In such case, you need to clearly explain the gap between their expectations and the real deal in a polite, professional manner.


2. They have issues with customer service.

When customers feel that it takes forever to get through agents of customer support, you can expect to be on the receiving end of their wrath just as soon as you pick up the call. Apologize for the delay and get down to business right away so that the customer feels the sense of urgency on your end.

Another anger trigger that customers find unforgivable is getting disconnected from the call. Whether it was unintentional or not, avoid antagonizing the customer any further by being defensive. Instead, offer your sincerest apology and the assurance that you actually care about the customer’s woes.

Unfortunately, some customers may resort to putting out that condescending tone and question your ability in helping them. Don’t let that beat you up. Don’t take it personally or put the blame on yourself. Think of it as those times when the customer just needed to express the frustration, and someone just had to listen. Too bad it had to be you. Then again, be inspired with what Bill Gates said, “Your most unhappy customers are your greatest source of learning.”


3. They feel duped by hidden costs, erroneous billing, or money-back guarantees.

Being charged the wrong amount or for the wrong purchase will undoubtedly set off that dreaded anger trigger. More often than not, the customer will be generous in giving out information about the error. Use that opportunity to actively listen to those details, taking down notes to help you figure out what went wrong.

You might come across customers who will try to influence your action or response by harping on the idea that loyal customers should be given special accommodations. Acknowledge the value of the customer’s business with your company, but at the same time, be firm in explaining company policies about refunds, exchanges, or other money-back deals.


4. The resolution of the problem is taking too long.

A common pet peeve among customers is when an issue has dragged on for too long with no definite resolution in sight. Often, this is compounded by the idea that they have to recount everything as they talk to a different agent.

Lessen the time needed for you or your customer to backtrack to the history of the complaint by reading through case documentation to know what has been or has not been done to that particular case. Being able to work quickly and efficiently can go places with irate customers because they know they’re not being ignored.


Many of us have been taught the classic “Customer is always right” tagline. While others find it questionable, you could, at best, be kind and gentle even to the rudest of customers who have something to complain about.

Adel Zsurzsan
Adel Zsurzsan

Adel Zsurzsan started as a Service Desk Analyst at transcosmos Information System. Currently based in transcosmos Hungary office, she now serves as the company's Business Development Advisor, helping the company grow and explore partnerships and opportunities. She speaks fluent English, Dutch, Romanian, Hungarian, German, French and Spanish.

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