Inside the Mind of Your Customer: Why They Lash Out

The first step to improving relations with your customers is to understand where they are coming from. This article isn’t necessarily about customer service, but at the same time, improved service is a byproduct of knowing what motivates your customer. If you think about it, the majority of the times when you are speaking to a customer or an existing client, they need something from you—and that is a vulnerable position for someone to be in, under any circumstances. That vulnerability can cause people to react unpredictably sometimes.

How Much Should You Tolerate?

Before we get into the reasons why customers tend to lash out, it’s important the draw a line in the sand. When do you say that it’s enough, and end the conversation? A good rule of thumb is to stop serving them when it becomes abuse; you just need to recognize when that is what’s happening.

Here is a full post about knowing when a customer has crossed the line:

So why do people treat company representatives so harshly and aggressively? These are a few of the reasons that customers may act the way that they do.

Societal Conditions

Given that it is such a cliché, it seems dumb to blame society for customers acting like jerks, but we are living in an undeniably tense time, especially in the current environment of the United States.

Everyone is on edge, clinical anxiety is becoming a legitimate public health issue, and that negative energy has to come out somewhere. What’s the easiest place to vent your frustrations? Maybe someone who is paid by a company to listen to every complaint that a customer has to give? It’s bound to happen, one way or another.

Accustomed to Bad Service

The truth is that a large portion of customer service professionals today put in only the bare minimum of effort and treat customers as if they are the problem, instead of solving their problems.

So now when people call into a business for assistance, they go into it already expecting terrible service and may have a frustrated attitude before you even begin to help them.

They Want to Be Angry

There is often nothing you can do to affect someone’s attitude because they just want someone to whom they can vent their general frustrations. If that is the case, it doesn’t have anything to do with your business or the customer support that you provide; so you’ll just need to keep them as calm as possible, while doing whatever you can to resolve their issue.

They Would Rather Not Need Support

There are still many people who would rather speak to Customer Support on the phone, and the first thing they do before they do anything else is to call in. Most of the time though, your customers would rather not be calling you to address an issue because let’s be honest, it is a hassle and takes up valuable time.

It’s great that you are there to solve a customer’s problem when they need you, but it’s definitely not the favorite part of anyone’s day.


Stephanie is the Marketing Director at Talkroute and has been featured in Forbes, Inc, and Entrepreneur as a leading authority on business and telecommunications.

Stephanie is also the chief editor and contributing author for the Talkroute blog helping more than 100k entrepreneurs to start, run, and grow their businesses.

StephanieInside the Mind of Your Customer: Why They Lash Out