Customer Experience

Updated On: Apr 1, 2024

6 Tips To Handle Bad Calls With Ease

Reading-Time 8 Min

tips to handle bad calls

Poor customer service has a significant impact on the overall economy, costing the US a staggering $1.6 trillion annually. This highlights the importance of providing exceptional customer experiences to maintain customer satisfaction and loyalty. 

However, things don’t always go as planned, and call center agents often find themselves facing a never-ending cycle of stress and frustration when dealing with bad calls.

With high-level competition in the industry, it’s crucial for companies to handle customer inquiries and complaints efficiently to stay ahead of the game.

While companies invest in the latest tools like knowledge management systems and resources like call center talk scripts to provide top-notch service, mistakes can still occur, which can snowball into bigger problems if not addressed correctly and timely.

That’s why in this article, we’ve compiled some practical tips on how to handle bad calls at a call center to help service reps reduce stress and burnout, and avoid getting stuck in a cycle of uneasiness and frustration. 

Whether you’re a new agent looking to improve your skills or a seasoned professional seeking to refine your approach, these tips will help you handle difficult situations with confidence and ease.

So, let’s dive in and explore some of the best practices that can help call center agents to handle bad calls effectively and ensure customer satisfaction in BPOs.

Best 6 Tips To Handle Bad Calls With Ease

1. Be proactive

One of the most critical factors in handling bad calls is to proactively prepare for them. While you may be equipped to handle calls that come your way, it’s essential to be ready for the unexpected ones. Here’s how you can be proactive:

  • Keep a log of worst calls to identify patterns and learn from them
  • Analyze recordings to identify root causes of issues like long wait times or frequent disconnections
  • Take proactive steps to mitigate similar issues from recurring, such as reducing wait times or improving phone line quality

By proactively addressing issues and learning from past experiences, you can prevent bad calls and enhance your overall customer service.

2. Be specific

When it comes to handling customer interactions, being specific is critical. Generalizations and assumptions can lead to misunderstandings and further escalate the situation. Here are some key pointers to keep in mind:

  • Avoid blaming the entire call center team for a single bad interaction. Take a step back and assess the situation objectively before making any assumptions.
  • Look into the specific issue and address it directly. Don’t dismiss a customer’s query, even if it seems simple. It may turn out to be an easy fix that you or your team missed.
  • Avoid making generalizations about the customer’s feelings or the call center’s performance. Focus on the specifics of the interaction and work towards finding a solution.

By being specific and avoiding hasty generalizations, you can handle customer interactions more effectively and provide better service. Remember to take a step back, assess the situation objectively, and focus on addressing the specific issue at hand.

With this approach, you can build stronger relationships with your customers and enhance your overall customer service.

3. Maintaining Composure

When agents receive a difficult call, they may become emotional and feel defeated, leading to a demotivated attitude. Unfortunately, many managers in call centers tend to overlook the emotional impact of bad calls on their agents. 

They may blame their team members for not handling the call well, which can lead to a negative impact on the team’s morale and performance.

As a manager or leader, it’s essential to remain composed and avoid directing frustration toward your team members. Instead, provide constructive feedback and support to help your team improve their skills and handle difficult calls more effectively. Here are some key pointers to keep in mind:

  • Acknowledge the emotional impact of a bad call on your team members
  • Provide constructive feedback and support to help your team improve their skills and handle difficult callers more effectively
  • Avoid blaming your team members for a bad call. Instead, work with them to find ways to improve.

4. Stay focused

When a service representative receives a call that has the potential to be difficult, it’s crucial to stay focused on the task at hand. It’s easy for distractions to creep in based on past experiences or the customer’s tone of voice, but staying focused is essential to prevent mistakes and effectively handle the situation.

Here are some key pointers for service representatives to keep in mind:

  • Stay focused on the task at hand and avoid distractions. Give the customer your full attention to assess the situation objectively.
  • Avoid making assumptions based on previous experiences or the customer’s tone of voice. Assess the situation based on the facts presented.
  • Work towards finding a solution by actively listening to the customer’s concerns and addressing them

Avoiding distractions helps service reps tackle challenging conversations and develop stronger client connections. Improving agent experience and performance requires objectively appraising the issue and avoiding assumptions based on prior experiences or tone of speech.

5. Build a team culture

Fostering a supportive culture can help service representatives handle bad calls. Instead of complaining or dwelling on bad calls, team members can boost morale by:

  • Offering encouragement and support
  • Sharing strategies for handling difficult calls
  • Focusing on positive outcomes and customer satisfaction
  • Celebrating successes and learning opportunities

By cultivating a supportive culture, service representatives can feel empowered to handle difficult calls with grace and poise, knowing that their team has their back.

6. Keep learning and improving

As call center representatives know, difficult calls and clients come with the territory. While it’s essential to strive for perfection, mistakes are inevitable. The key is to learn from them and use that knowledge to improve performance going forward.

One effective strategy for continuous learning and improvement is to hold regular training sessions. During these training programs, team members can discuss the calls and clients received, sharing insights and strategies for handling them more effectively.

In addition, incorporating workshops and conferences can provide additional learning opportunities and enhance team performance.

It’s important not to shy away from discussing difficult calls, as they provide valuable opportunities for growth and development. By embracing these challenges and learning from past mistakes, service representatives can improve their skills and provide better service to customers.


The best way to manage bad calls is to prepare for them and be proactive when a call comes your way. Take a step back and try to figure out what went wrong and how you can prevent it from happening again in the future.

Keep learning and improving from your mistakes, and you’ll find yourself handling bad calls and bad clients a lot better than you used to. With all that being said, it’s important to note that no call center is perfect, and like any other workplace, they all have their bad days.

When you face a difficult caller, the best thing you can do is keep the above-mentioned tips in mind and you’ll be fine.

Kamal Pathak

Lead Product Manager

Kamal Pathak has over 10 years of experience as a product manager building successful B2B SaaS products in customer experience space. He enjoys writing, speaking, and coaching aspiring product managers.

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