How to Handle the Most Frustrating Customer Service Situation

I wrote Tuesday about not forgetting that customer service reps are people too, so why is it so frustrating to handle customer service? Here’s one reason why it’s frustrating and an example of how the two parties involved can make it more bearable.

One of my favorite examples of poor customer service is when the supervisor refuses to help the customer service representative, therefore leaving the CSR unable to assist the customer. I’m sure everyone has worked in an environment where immediate supervisors refuse to assist you, or dragged their feet the entire time they help you. It’s frustrating for you and the customer!
In my call center experience, I had a few supervisors that I dreaded working with because they did this exact disservice to myself and the company.

If You’re the Customer: Calling in to customer service can be incredibly frustrating, but sometimes the person you’re speaking with has a difficult supervisor and there’s nothing they can do about it.  Let them know you’re going to call back until you can speak with someone. This sometimes encourages the supervisor to speak with you so they don’t have to worry about you calling back. 

If You’re the CSR: Try to be patient. Go to coworkers for assistance and see if they can help you. If that doesn’t work, tell your boss that you really need their assistance and if he or she can’t seem to find the time to help you help that customer, you’ll need to go above them. I know no one wants to escalate issues, but sometimes that’s the only way something will get done (especially if you have a boss like this). Even saying “I’m sorry you cannot assist me, I guess I will just have to go to [blank] in order to find my answer” will work. It’s their job to help you and answer questions and it’s your job to help the guests. Be assertive and get your job done.  (Don’t go overboard on escalating an issue or you’ll lose your credibility).
For more help on handling a difficult boss, here’s another great list.


Have you ever been in a situation like this? How did you handle it?


Scroll to Top