Complaint management for unpleasant phone calls –

If you are dealing with telephone customer traffic professionally, you know this situation with certainty: You are called by a customer and before you can even call your name, a torrent of angry verbal abuse comes to your ear. How to handle such a situation confidently, without getting yourself into a rage, shows you the following article.

You are currently sitting relaxed at work and the telephone rings. You take the receiver off to greet the caller, but as soon as you start to speak, a thunderstorm is already ringing in your ear: "Why do not I still have the goods … What's your company a bastard … How your department is incapable … "or more verbally insulting.

The normal and pre-programmed behavior is a massive defensive attitude and reaction. Attack provokes defense and as a rule, an automatic and subconscious reaction such as anger and / or combat readiness expires. If you can observe yourself in such a situation, you will see that the following physical processes occur, among others:

  • They involuntarily hold their breath.
  • The body goes into defensive position, visible z. As by tension of the neck muscles or a general physical paralysis.
  • Her voice gets higher and shriller due to a tension of the neck muscles.

How do you react properly to unpleasant phone calls?

Just by being aware of these physical reactions, you can tackle them without creating unnecessary and burdensome anger.

While the caller is scolding, Take a few deep breaths in and out – Your body relaxes again and you get a clear head again.

Move your body: Turn your shoulder joints, sit down or stand up, shake your head. Through these body movements your brain gets the ability to dissolve the most existing body rigidity and "get out" of the resulting negative feelings.

Keep in mind that this verbal attack usually does not apply to you personallybut your company. Through this little mental trick you delegate your own emotions in a neutral direction.

If, through these countermeasures, you have regained control over your own feelings and body reactions, the following additional tips help to de-escalate the conversation and calm the caller:

Become an active listenerwho signals to the madman that he is being perceived in his anger and in his concern. Just keep the caller talking and take an interested "Mhm" for a while. An additional positive effect of these "mhms" is that it makes your voice deeper and more resonant – which in turn has a calming effect on your conversation partner.

The yes trick: You repeat some of the caller's content, such as "Yes, I understand … the delivery deadline could not be met …" These yes repeats force the caller to interrupt his speech and now confirm that he is listening to you ( "Yes exactly…"). As a result, you are now gradually in a position to prepare for a positive and constructive further conversation.

By the way: screaming back or also becoming insulting does not seem liberating at all – but usually the opposite occurs: Now you will be very angry inside and will have to carry this anger for some time after the phone call. Needless to say – such a negative phone call with mutual verbal abuse and accusations will have many effects – but certainly not a positive conclusion.

Picture credits: Volker Witt /

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