How to Stay Motivated and Friendly During Negative Customer Calls

Learn how to motivate yourself and remain friendly also if your customers have a bad day

Thrive Global invites voices from many spheres to share their perspectives on our Community platform. Community stories are not commissioned by our editorial team, and opinions expressed by Community contributors do not reflect the opinions of Thrive Global or its employees. More information on our Community guidelines is available here.
How to Stay Motivated and Friendly During Negative Customer Calls

Being a customer service representative can be challenging. You work with people on the phone all day, and sometimes, you have to deal with difficult people. 

If you constantly deal with rude and degrading people, it can be hard to stay motivated. However, remember that your job is essential, and you are working to keep your company and customers happy.

Amongst the constant stream of positive and negative calls, there are some things that you can do to stay motivated and friendly on negative customer calls.

This post uncovers some of the best strategies to help you along the way. 

Let’s dive right in!

1. Stay calm and respond after thinking

Your attitude is critical in customer service. It’s easy to get angry and frustrated with the customers, but it’s not worth it.

If you stay focused on your job, then that will help keep your head clear. Also, you’ll be able to deal with frustrating situations easily if you stay calm and composed about everything. Sometimes people can sense when someone is truly upset or indifferent towards them; sometimes, they feed off this energy too! 

So try not to get worked up over negative calls. It is because you can do nothing else besides apologizing for their inconvenience and hope that things go better for both parties involved next time around.

The best thing you can do while dealing with demanding customers is to keep your emotions out of it. You might not be able to see them, but they can hear how you feel through your tone and the words you use. So, try putting yourself in their shoes for a minute before picking up the phone or starting an angry email exchange with someone who is rude towards you.

To improve the service and stay motivated, it’s important to take feedback from customers and take action. According to a survey by Microsoft, 52% of individuals across the globe think that companies need to take action on feedback provided. 

In addition, when your support team works on feedback, the negative call frequency will reduce significantly. 

When customer executives put themselves in customers’ shoes and understand their issues from a different perspective, things change for the better. They form a stronger relationship with customers that goes a long way. 

The best way to improve is to attend all calls from a neutral mindset, and not judge the individual with a grievance on the other end. The more value-driven and receptive to meaningful feedback you remain, the more calmly you can handle the negative calls. 

2. Look for opportunities to make a difference


This one is pretty simple. If you are constantly dealing with negative people, then look at it as an opportunity to be a shining star and provide excellent service!

You might not think about it because the customer isn’t pleasant towards you, but they have still chosen your company over another place that could do their job just fine. 

It means that this person trusts in your company enough to use your services instead of someone else’s – even if they’re giving you crap while doing so! 

So do take advantage of these golden moments where someone has placed faith in you and show them how good customer service really should be done. You’ll feel better knowing that there was something positive out of a challenging call after all.

There is always something better hidden inside a challenging situation, and negative calls are the perfect examples. You need to understand that the overall market is getting hyper-competitive. 

To stay relevant in the business, customer executives need to ensure they resolve the queries as soon as possible with a positive impact. 

Even though the customers are not friendly, giving them the solution they need can provide a competitive edge to the business. Practice some basic phone etiquette to ensure you give your best while talking to your customers. 

Always focus on what you can do for the customer at the very moment they’re on a call with you. 

Figure that out, give an instant solution, and you’ll notice they’re usually satisfied with the solution that you’ve provided. Ensure you’re using available automation on your ticketing system so that you can work with more productivity. 

3. Think about the big picture

Sometimes it’s easy to get wrapped up in negative customer calls and forget that more than just this one particular interaction. 

At some point, you might be looking back at a whole year of difficult phone calls and feeling bad for yourself because things didn’t work out so well during any given call.

But don’t let those moments define who you are! Keep doing your best every day, even when dealing with angry customers, because eventually, something will go right again down the road. 

Focus on how much better off you’ll be after putting all these challenging experiences behind you, instead of getting bogged down by them now. You can always ask your manager or HR if they have any advice to help you deal with the negativity. 

Taking help from your senior HR manager or sales rep will always help you get the best out of yourself. It’s always better to give the needed solution to the customer and then hang up the call, rather than make them more frustrated by not giving them the answer. Your focus should remain on improving and retaining the customer churn rate even in negative situations. 

No matter how angry a customer is, remember they are bothered with the company’s products or services, and not with you. In addition, if a customer has made an unrealistic demand that you & the company are not liable to offer, learn how to politely decline that will create a win-win situation. 

It’s crucial to keep this in mind, as many beginners who have started working as a customer executive take things on. Always focus on the big picture, see what best you can do for the customer, and make their day a little easier with your contribution. It will help you in improving the overall customer lifetime value.

4. Learn from past mistakes


If there is something that you could have done differently during a difficult phone call, then make sure to ask your manager or HR rep for advice on how you can improve yourself. If it’s not an option for them to coach you up, go the self-learning route and find some online resources that can help. 

Be proactive about improving the way to deal with negative calls and try implementing new strategies as soon as possible so that next time around, things go even better. It never hurts trying again until you get it right!

According to a survey by Nextiva, 89% of customers have switched to competitors because of a poor customer experience. These stats reflect customer executives of many companies not reflecting and working on their past mistakes. 

It’s essential to learn from them and take necessary action to ensure they never happen again. Always be aware of the error that bothered the customer, and you should avoid them from happening in the future. 

Conducting peer training about the same can help you ensure that all your team members are on the same page of understanding in dealing with customers. 

Focus on driving more value to the customers and understand what they need in reality rather than replying, “we will get to you in a while.” If you can give the right solution in real-time when they are on call, do it and improve the customer’s experience. 

5. Measure your results using data

Sometimes it can be helpful to look at the big picture and see how much time you spend dealing with demanding customers. For example, try writing down the total number of difficult phone calls that you have had in a day or week, then look at how much time has gone by. 

If there are several hours where nothing but negative phone calls were made, it might be for the best to find ways of improving your customer service skills so that they can still provide value even when dealing with frustrating people!

Try looking into alternative strategies, such as different types of software like an internal help desk that will help take care of simple tasks on autopilot and free up your schedule for more meaningful work. This way, you’ll always have access to great tools, no matter what sort of negative situations come up during a busy day.

If you can prepare a framework or create a flowchart that works seamlessly for you, it can save you from many negative calls in the future. Start jotting down the common patterns that you noticed in the majority of customers who are not satisfied with the service. 

In addition, do write down the core solutions and suggestions that helped you deal with them with ease. It will save you a significant amount of time.

Use whatever data is available to you and start finding the common patterns about every aspect of the calls. Then, over a period, when you look back and see, you will find a full-fledged pack of solutions and quick answers that you can use to help customers.

6. Have discussions with your peers and manager

Another great way of staying proactive about your customer service skills is to talk with other members of the company who do a lot of phone work. They might be able to share some advice on dealing with all sorts of demanding customers, and this information could prove extremely helpful when dealing with negative people.

If you have a manager or HR rep, try looking into ways to improve yourself by having discussions where you can ask them questions about their experiences while working at the company. It should give you more insight into what has been done when handling challenging situations so that things get better next time around, because there’s always room for improvement, no matter who we are talking about!

According to Deloitte, 72% of organizations think they can use analytics records to improve the customer experience. But the real thing is that, before diving into the data, it’s essential to talk to team members and managers to have the right strategy. Then, once the design and plan are in place, it becomes easier for customer service reps to offer better customer solutions. 

You will face many unique situations, something you never handled before. Your peers and seniors can help you sail through it smoothly. If you never ask, the answer is always no — this quote from Nora Roberts says a lot about the same. Having regular one-to-one or group discussions can help in mitigating the number of negative calls. 

You can also drop quick notes in your customer dashboard for a customer for future reference. It will help you serve them better. When you remember details about them, customers feel important and valued. 

7. Make it a priority to stay in good spirits

At the end of the day, when you have been dealing with hostile customers throughout your shift, staying upbeat and positive is still essential. Nobody wants to feel like they are talking with someone who is constantly down on themselves, so try looking at ways to stay motivated no matter what happens during a busy workday!

Be sure that there’s always something going right or being accomplished, even when dealing with difficult situations, because this will help keep things in perspective. This way, nothing is too little in the grand scheme of life! 

The sense of achievement keeps you motivated through the work shift, and you will not feel drained. Here, the importance of maintaining a positive mindset helps to sail through the tough days and cushions you from being too pessimistic about yourself. 

Always have the habit and the mentality of seeing excellence and positivity in every situation, and it will keep you calm, sane, and focused on the work.

The more you practice this, the more quickly you can handle negative customer calls and reviews. Ensure you put the emotions aside while dealing with customers, and you will flourish. 

Final Words

The bottom line is that you can’t please everyone, but it’s so important to try! You never know who your next customer will be or how they are feeling at the moment. Negative calls happen all of the time, and sometimes people need someone to vent their frustrations on – don’t take it personally!

How do you stay motivated? Let us know in the comments below!

    Share your comments below. Please read our commenting guidelines before posting. If you have a concern about a comment, report it here.

    You might also like...

    Community//

    How to Stay Calmer, Relaxed, and Stress-free In-Times of Emergencies

    by Christine Chen
    Work Smarter//

    How to Deal with Negative Online Reviews

    by Jodie Shaw
    Community//

    Marie Olesen of La Jolla Cosmetic: “Educate your team about how to deliver great experiences”

    by Orlando Zayas
    We use cookies on our site to give you the best experience possible. By continuing to browse the site, you agree to this use. For more information on how we use cookies, see our Privacy Policy.