Handling Frustrated Customers And Get Good Surveys From Them

Have you handle a call where on set of your call the customers is really pissed off and frustrated with the service that he/she is getting?? I bet you got countless.. Well me, It’s been really a challenge for me. So I focused on analysing these type of calls / conversation with customer and started to build-up my personal data by listening and taking notes on my approach, choice of words, tonality of voice and resolution. 

Upon my analysis I’ve realised a pattern on how I deal with mad customers so I sort out and consolidated the ones that I’ve manage to calm down the customer, the ones that I was not able to connect and pacify the customer and the ones that I have a hard time instructing troubleshooting steps because the customer is not able to understand or follow my instructions.


Most scenario, customers who are not technological inclined are often unable to follow instructions to execute what needs to be done to resolved the issue through the phone. Not follow instructions might cause more problems or making the service issue worst. Commonly they blame the service and some of them blame it on the representative. So as an technical support agent how can you tackle this type of customers?

  • Measure the customer’s capabilities and comprehension with the technology you’re troubleshooting
  • Don’t use jargons / technical words which the customer might not understand
  • Be clear and slow in giving instructions to avoid mistakes
  • Explain what needed before moving forward in executing troubleshooting process.
  • Explain the problem and solution in a very simple and easy to understand analogy.



There are customers which called in talked to a representative, troubleshoot the problem and resolved the issue; however there are times that you resolved the problem but was not able to troubleshoot other concerns here are examples;

Customer calling because their internet is down – no connection then you’ve manage to get the internet to work back again but other devices which you don’t support was not able to connect and get data. This customer thinks that since your the internet provider you have to be oblige to connect all devices. Which of course logically wrong. So they tend to be disappointed or frustrated and give you a hard time explaining your situation.

I would explain; Asking man is your laptop/desktop connected and getting internet access? Okay, then you’re service is okay and fully functional. However with your xbox or playstation I’m afraid I’m not train to troubleshoot and honestly it is out of our scope of support as your internet provider. The best thing I will advice is to call SONY or XBOX technical support and explain your internet works fine only their product is having a hard time connecting to the network. I hope you’ll understand.

You’re the cable / tv provider and customer is calling about a certain channel that they subscribe for is are not streaming a live hockey game on a specific schedule. Customer: Why am I paying for a channel which will not let me watch the game on schedule? This has been the 5 game time that I was not able to watch.. I only get a black screen. – So TV is working.. Only the customer is mad because he cannot watch a hockey game on schedule. Which really out of your hands..

I would explain: Sir/Ma’m I do apologise if this channel have black out schedule for tonights game but it’s not us who decided or canceled live streaming for tonight’s schedule. It’s a promotion policy that on a certain region or city it will be unavailable because they want the fans like you to watch it live in the stadium and buy tickets. Basically, we are just your apple merchant and if the apple tree decides not bear any fruit we don’t have anything to do since it’s the apple tree who really provide us merchant something to sell.



Let’s start with how to pacify your customer? – There are a lot of strategies and ways to calm down a mad customer and I’ll discuss my insight with personal experience;

  1. Apologise that their having problems with your service/products and guarantee that you’ll help them resolve the issue or assure that you’ll provide them with the proper solution with their problem. Examples:
    • I do apologise that you’re having trouble connecting to your wifi ma’am/sir, I absolutely can walk you through how to connect using the right password for the wifi.
    • I’m very sorry that you’re internet have been down for days now, I can definitely provide you with the proper solution to bring back your internet.
    • My apologies, I understand where you’re coming from and your frustrations with your tv. No worries It would be my pleasure to fix your tv problem for you sir/ma’am or provide you with a permanent solution to avoid this to happen again.
  2. Acknowledge that you totally understand their problem and give the customer the proper expectations and be confident that you can fix the problem if not through the phone you can give them the best solution fit for their frustrations.
    • I understand you’re having problems with your internet, I’ll do my best to resolve it remotely however I’m not able to fix it over the phone I can surely get a technician to resolve it for you. I’ll schedule it out as early as I can; then provide the best schedule date that you can set the appointment. Be transparent and confident to tell  them even if it the schedule does not match the customer’s requested date. Explain the why and when in a way it will not spark the customer’s madness..
      • I’m very sorry I was unable to resolve the issue remotely however I can send a technician to resolve that for you and the best schedule date in our system would be on Tuesday morning around 8-11am (today is Saturday). As much as I want to schedule it out tomorrow sir/ma’am our dispatch team have already fully booked for tomorrow and the next two days. I’ll be adding a note here about the days that your service is out with my report backing you up for a credit for those days without internet.
    • Customer is having tv problem; ask the proving questions to determine the problem, run some test to move forward give the overview of the steps or procedures to resolved the problem; Provide clear, easy to understand instructions for troubleshooting. The flow will vary with the customer’s participation, knowledge and accuracy in following instructions.
      • If the problem is resolved remotely; be sure to stress out naturally that you’ve help them out fixing their tv problem. Like; Alright are all TV(s) working well now sir/ma’am? Explain why it happened and insert; it’s been a pleasure to resolve your tv problem I appreciate your efforts I couldn’t fix it without you sir/ma’am.
      • If the problem was not resolve remotely; I would usually say, thank you for the efforts with the troubleshooting process I appreciate it; however I think it’s best to get a tech to check those tv receivers because it seems to be not responding correctly and needs probably needs to be replace.
        • If tech appointment will happen to be early and good for the customer; Sound like you made sure that their problem will be resolved as soon as possible so you’ve manage to schedule them for tomorrow morning or whatever seems early to the customer.
        • If tech appointment would take days to resolve the issue; I would usually pitch confidently and ask if the system best schedule will be okay with them, if not.. Explain that this ticket will be going to a advance tech who does the remote testing and some of the time resolve the problem remotely but not a guarantee fix, then the tech appointment just be an SOP to double check, replace or fix some inside line within the house to avoid the problem to happen again. (you’re still give right expectation, right schedule date without pissing the customer off – works most of the time)


Satisfying customers is simple as giving them what they want or expect for you to do for them. Assist them properly and resolve their problems mainly. Calls that are really swift with great call flow, awesome tone and problem resolved kinda calls are hard to maintain, however it’s possible to target these type of calls on each conversation you’ll have within your shift. Here’s some insights and tips I can talk about to be able to help you maintain.

  1.  Proper troubleshooting or resolution will be depending on how you determine the problem correctly or you’ve mis-understood the customer. To make sure; arm yourself with standardised question which can narrow down the problem and at least determine the main core problem.
    1. When did the problem started? Occurrence of the problem can give you an idea of the timeline that they’ve been experiencing the issue.
    2. Does the problem happening in all of the devices? These could be Phones, iPods, Tablets, Laptops, Xbox, Playstation, TV BOX, PVR, Phone Sets, Emails or Desktops. – This will narrow down what’s the type of problem (it could be just wireless, it could be just one tv, it could just be one computer or phone that is having the problem).
    3. Technical questions/proving are more with your  product knowledge and personal written notes. This is more on your experience what technical question do usually determine the main problem; Example;
      1. Did you rebooted your modem/tv box?
      2. How many times?
      3. What lights can you see in the modem/tv box?
  2. Knowing the main problem will guide you to the correct resolution to remotely resolve the problem. So now how knowledgable are you with your product/service? So if you’ve really dive in to learn the technology you’re supporting you’ll be able to most of the time resolve, fix or escalate the problem properly which is the holy grail in satisfying the customer. They call you to fix the problem so if you fix it you’ve satisfied their main objective of calling. So this section will really depend on how much you know and what do you know about the service/product that you support. Here are 4 analogy for customer satisfaction.
    1. If the customer is having problem with their internet + fixed connection problem = customer satisfaction
    2. If the customer is having problem with email check internet connection + analyse settings + analyse email client + resolve email issue or advice for solution = customer satisfaction
    3. If customer is having problem with TV SERVICE + Check Internet Connection + Check TV BOX ERROR + CHECK HOW MANY TV + RESOLVE TV PROBLEM + ESCALATE TV ISSUES PROPERLY = customer satisfaction
    4. If customer is having problems with telephone service + check phone line + check account + check how many phone sets + resolve the phone service problem or escalate it properly = customer satisfaction
  3. Time spent for troubleshooting and troubleshooting speed can be a main factor to satisfy customer. The faster you resolve the issue the better for the customer. Also AHT will surely trim down if you can resolve the problem as quickly and accurately as you can. Here are the points to speed up your customer handling time:
    1. Strong communication skills
      1. Also your clarity of speech and english language, comprehension and vocabulary
      2. Choice of words & sentence construction
    2. Product knowledge & Accurate troubleshooting would be one recipe
      1. Experience
      2. Product Learning
    3. Practice a strong call flow and positioning
      1. Good opening and closing always be up beat and pleasing
      2. Confident and empathy for situation to position

In a nutshell, pacifying the customer and satisfying the customer is one ingredients for a positive survey score from the customer. However not having to recall, listen or observe your bad calls you will not have a pattern to trace  to “PACIFY & SATISFY” your customer. Always learn from your mistake and keep improving. These data you have from all types of call you’ve gone through will be the core elements to improve your monthly metrics and to be able to hit the goal or exceed it.

I hope this post have give you good insights. Please put your comment or questions below in case you have one. Appreciate any feedback from my reads.. THANKS FOR READING!!!


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