Please Hold for Your Worst Nightmare


boogey callerEvery contact center agent has a “worst nightmare” caller. A boogey caller, if you will. While the exact description varies depending on who you ask, these are the callers who pop up out of nowhere and ruin your day without fail.

In my last blog I gave you three words to make your employees love you. This time, I’m going to give you 3 words to help vanquish any boogey caller for good: Meet its Needs.

In the simplest of breakdowns, we can think of callers as falling into three basic need groups. Almost all callers – even boogey callers – usually start out as “content” callers until a need goes unmet. You might think of this as the origin of the boogey caller:

Type of Caller Need
Content Appreciation
Irate Validation
Insistent Immediate Action

Our goal should always be to keep callers content or make them content again. Let’s look at the best ways to accomplish that.

Content Callers

This caller is the one you hope for every time the phone beeps. They are polite, patient, and simply have a question or concern they would like addressed. They seem nothing like the boogey caller we all fear, but they are in fact, one in the same. The boogey caller is nothing more than a content caller whose need to feel appreciated was not met.  Making a content caller feel appreciated is done by taking ownership, resolving their issue, and letting them know they are valued. It’s when the content callers don’t feel appreciated that they transform into our worst nightmare callers.

Irate Callers

This caller is prone to yelling, cursing, and will even make personal attacks. When working with an irate caller, you must first remember that they do not want to be like this. In most cases they are mad because they were made angry, and that is not how they want to be.

To get this caller back to a content state, you simply need to validate their anger by letting them know it is okay that they are upset. Be sure that this is done only after they have finished venting. Never cut off an irate customer as it only makes things worse. A good example of what to say to an irate caller after they vent is, “Mr. or Mrs. (Last Name), I completely understand why you are upset and to be honest, I don’t know how you are as calm as you are. If I had been through what you have, I don’t think I could handle it this well.”

If said at the proper time and with sincerity, I guarantee you they will start to calm down. Once you have them somewhat calm again, you can handle the call just as though they were a content customer by making them feel appreciated.

Insistent Callers

This caller is very demanding will tell you exactly what you are doing to do for them and when you are going to do it. While the “what” varies from call to call, the “when” is always now. Insistent callers got this way due to a lack of urgency in resolving their initial concern and they feel bossing you around is their only option.

The secret to making an insistent caller content again is to take immediate action and tell them in detail exactly what you are doing, while you are doing it. What you cannot do, under any circumstance, is tell an insistent customer what you will do and expect them to trust you. Immediate action and that alone is the only thing that will work. Once they know you are doing something about their problem right now, they will start to ease up and shift back toward content. At that point you simply need to make them feel, you guessed it, appreciated!

Now when the boogey caller strikes, you’ll know what to do to keep it from being an automatic day-ruiner… or your worst nightmare!