Handling Abusive Callers in a Call Center

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  • 0:00 Seeing Red
  • 0:54 Abusive Callers
  • 1:43 Handling an Abusive Caller
  • 4:19 Learning from an…
  • 5:21 Lesson Summary
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Instructor: Beth Hendricks

Beth holds a master's degree in integrated marketing communications, and has worked in journalism and marketing throughout her career.

When an angry caller turns into an abusive caller, it's time for call center 911! In this lesson, you'll learn more about the best ways to identify abusive callers and how to handle abusive calls.

Seeing Red

Have you ever heard the phrase ''seeing red?'' This statement is usually uttered in a sentence like, ''I was so angry I was seeing red!'' What's with this colorful description?

An abusive caller is a sticky situation in a call center environment.
angry, abusive, call, center

People who describe themselves or others as ''seeing red'' are so enraged that their anger overtakes them. It's like a bull staring at a matador's waving red cape: the bull sees red and charges out of something more than anger.

Working in a call center, agents may find themselves dealing with customers who are seeing red, for one reason or another. Handling angry callers is almost a given, but dealing with abusive callers is another matter altogether. In this lesson, we'll go over some ways to handle abusive callers in a call center.

Abusive Callers

The first thing to know when dealing with abusive callers is that these are not your typically angered consumers. It's not someone who is unhappy because their package didn't arrive in time or because a service technician was late showing up for an appointment. Abusive callers take their anger to another level by launching into an all-out verbal attack on the call center agent that might include personal attacks or profanity leveled directly at the customer service representative. In an abusive call situation there is extreme hostility aimed at the employee who has fielded the call.

How do you deal with this type of caller when they're perhaps yelling or cursing and you can't get a word in edgewise?

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