How To De-escalate An Angry Customer Phone Call

how to deescalate an angry customer

If you own a pest control or lawn care business, you’re probably used to fielding angry customer calls. From late technicians and broken sprinkler heads to cockroach comebacks, some customers can become irate over just about anything under the right conditions. 

Dealing with high emotions and negative feedback, especially during the height of the busy season, can be overwhelming and stressful, but with the right strategies in place, you can handle angry customer calls calmly and effectively. We’ve outlined 4 customer service de-escalation techniques to help you learn how to de-escalate an angry person calling your business.

1. Remain Calm & Listen

Stay calm no matter how upset a customer may be. If you can keep your composure, it will go a long way in easing their temper. Give them a chance to explain how they are feeling and let them know that you are there to listen. Listen intently before offering up any solutions or taking action on their issues. 

Remember not to take anything they may say personally. They don’t know you and are just trying to vent their frustration with their situation. Keeping things neutral and not getting defensive will help you resolve the issue faster. 

2. Show Empathy

It’s important to show empathy when dealing with an angry customer. Be sure to listen attentively and repeat back what you’re hearing to show you fully understand their concern. Give them plenty of space to express their feelings and explain their situation. Using statements like “I can certainly understand why this is upsetting” can remind them they’re speaking to another human who can relate and is seeing things from their point of view. 

3. Apologize

Don’t be afraid to apologize. Sincere apologies help customers feel validated and they appreciate someone at your company taking ownership of an issue. In the end, the customer’s perception of how you handled their complaint will determine how likely they are to continue doing business with you so apologizing for the situation and how it has affected the customer can go a long way in retaining their business. 

4. Make it Right

Do what you can to make things right for your customers. You may not always be able to solve the problem, but depending on the specific circumstances, you can offer refunds or re-services to show your commitment to their satisfaction. Going the extra mile with additional complimentary service visits or free products can make them feel even more appreciated.  

If they are asking for something unreasonable, don’t be afraid to explain how you will do everything within your power to fix things, but how their request is simply not feasible. If the customer feels like their complaint has been heard, they are more likely to accept your solution on how to move forward.


As business ramps up for the busy season, unhappy customer calls are something that every pest and lawn care company will come across over the next few months. When those difficult calls come through, remember to remain calm, listen to their concerns, show empathy and apologize while offering effective solutions to resolve the issue. Implementing these tips will help you successfully navigate angry calls and retain a loyal customer base. Using these de-escalation techniques can help improve customer satisfaction and loyalty.

If you feel that you’d benefit from more specific guidance and resources for successful customer interactions, feel free to reach out to us. We’re always happy to help.

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