Contact Center Trends

4 Situations that Make Callers Angry in the Call Center

By Shauna Geraghty

0 min read

Even the most well-run, customer-centric contact centers deal with angry callers every day. In some ways, this is just the nature of call centers. Customers who reach out for phone support are invariably looking for immediate assistance with a problem directly related to your company’s product or service. One very natural reaction to having a problem is anger.

Smart call center management recognizes that angry callers are an unavoidable reality. The purpose of providing them a phone number is to give them the opportunity to air their grievances and seek a human resolution!

That said, angry callers should be kept at a minimum. They can lead to churn, loss of brand loyalty and negative word of mouth. Angry callers can even promote agent turnover. Where possible, it’s best to avoid certain situations that may take slightly a slightly peeved caller and turn them into the Incredible Hulk.

Here are six such situations:

1. Irritating IVR

IVRs are a mainstay of modern call centers. They can drastically improve the efficiency of call routing, reliably putting callers in touch with the most appropriate agents. Their use cannot be lauded enough. And yet, many callers dislike interacting with IVRs. A non-optimized IVR may have confusing or too many prompts. It may trap callers in dead ends, resulting in them having to call back in. Worst of all, it may route callers to the wrong ring groups, defeating its entire reason for being.

At the end of an IVR maze, even the most docile caller may become angry. To avoid this situation, invest in an advanced call center solution that allows for customizable multi-level IVR that can be tailored to meet your callers’ individual needs. Once you’ve implemented it, make sure to mystery shop your IVR regularly to ensure that it’s doing its job!

2. Long wait times

One of the most important call center KPIs is average wait time. The idea is very simple: the longer a caller has to wait to get an agent on the phone, the more angry they will become. People reach out to phone support because they want a real-time answer. If they wanted to wait, they’d email you!

Reducing average wait time is an easy fix once the problem is identified. Call center managers should regularly check their software’s comprehensive live and historical reporting dashboard to be sure that wait times are appropriate. If they are not, a variety of steps can be taken, including hiring more staff.

3. Dropped call

There are a variety of situations in which a call can be dropped such as the caller losing service, a transfer failing or a power outage. When this happens, it is normal for callers to be angry. They do not want to have to repeat their IVR journey or explain their problem to a new agent.

Talkdesk has created Intelligent Reconnect, an industry-first call center feature, that attempts to solve this problem. With Intelligent Reconnect, customers who have been accidentally disconnected are routed directly to the agent who fielded their initial call.

4. Repeat explanations

Callers reach out for a solution. The last thing they want is to be forced to explain their problem in depth to numerous people. Even having to repeat a complicated account number can be a chore. The longer it takes for them to get to a resolution, the more upset customers can become.

Modern call center software enables agents to see background information and contact history about callers from the moment the call comes in. Couple this with seamless integrations with CRMs and other business tools, and by the time the caller gets an agent, it’s like they’re old friends catching up.

Do your best to avoid angry callers in your call center by investing in a sophisticated call center solution. No software can guarantee happy callers every time, but an advanced solution can at least reduce the number of inbound Hulks.


Shauna Geraghty

As the first U.S. employee, Shauna helped to scale Talkdesk to over 1,000 employees in 7 offices globally. During her tenure, she has built Talkdesk's Marketing, Talent and HR functions from the ground up. Shauna has a doctorate in clinical psychology and has applied foundational knowledge from the field of psychology to help propel Talkdesk along its hyper-growth trajectory.