Anyone who works on the phone for a living will handle difficult callers on a routine basis. Most employers will not allow workers to hang up on these callers, so they are expected to manage the stress and handle every caller respectfully. Unfortunately, this is not always what happens when phone workers are not properly trained to handle more demanding or downright abusive callers.
For example, how is an employee expected to handle a caller who uses foul language or makes threats? Most employers will provide guidelines on what is or is not allowed in these cases, but the people answering those phone calls still experience a high level of stress when they are dealing with that type of phone call.
When employees cannot properly handle difficult calls, the company as a whole suffers. Negative reviews of the company may spread around the Internet. Employee turnover may skyrocket. The best employees may not want to accept jobs with companies that receive a high rate of difficult callers.
The most efficient way for companies to help employees handle the stress of difficult callers is to provide phone etiquette training for all phone workers. When employees master call management skills proficiently, they remain calmer during difficult calls. They can control their reactions to foul language and unpleasant attitudes because they have the tools needed to manage every call in a professional manner.
It is never too late to offer this type of training to phone workers. Companies can even offer training to select employees who show signs of struggle or high stress levels.