Contact Center Protocol - How do agents handle potential suicide or physical/sexual abuse calls?

I am working with a client that is currently rewriting their process and protocol on how to handle these sensitive calls. How did you develop your process and call-handling protocol?  What did you do to ensure the safety of the caller?  How did you ensure the agent and the company were protected? Any help is greatly appreciated. If you wish to discuss this personally, please email me at  Thank you, Kay

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Keep in mind there is personal and legal risk associated with these calls. You screw this up and you can be personally liable. This is a legal issue and requires you have a certified crisis response expert tell you what you need to do. Once your process is certified and agents trained, then you will have done everything the court system will find reasonable. 

Morally, this request scares me. Someone is looking for "free information" on this? How much do you value human life?

Also, if anybody shares their process on handling these calls, they now include themselves in the legal liability.    



Jim, thank you for your advice.  We are not looking for free information.  We understand this is a legal situation and there is liability. We are looking for input concerning on how others have handled this in their contact center. 

I appreciate your comment about certified crisis response experts and that the client should consider getting the process certified. We understand that the agents have to be trained but to what and how?

If other contact centers are taking this suggested route of yours, I would like to know what they did to go down this path - where did they find the experts,etc..  I am trying to find out how other centers are handling this very sensitive issue so we can make sure we are addressing every aspect. 

I am sorry if this question offended you but I believe if we are not willing to share information concerning how such a sensitive issue has been addressed (the process and the protocol) then I am afraid we are missing an opportunity to educate.

In an non emergency contact center: We teach the agents to escalate to their supervisor, and the supervisor to the manager, any calls of this nature along with anything observed / heard in the center.  I think of it along the lines of how a sexual harassment complaint in the work place is address; I cannot and will not promise to not tell someone - someone who has the skill and the expertise to investigate and or respond in the appropriate manner. 

Marnee,  Thanks for giving your insights.  I especially like that you cannot and will not promise to tell someone.  I was in that exact situation a while back while doing a call center audit for a company.  One of the supervisors told me about harassment and I had to go down that path.  It was tough!  Best to you, Kay

Hi Kathryn


Hope you are well.


Have emailed you the response on how an agent should take such high priority calls. They can be life threatening and could cost high on human life and for the company as well if not handled carefully and with intelligence



Suzy Michael.


Suzy,  Thank you so much for taking your time to address this critical issue.  Every contact center I have managed has received these types of calls and they are heart wrenching for everyone.  Helping agents understand their limitations and empowering them to help by engaging professionals is crucial. Again, thank you.  Kay

Hi Kathryn,

This is definitely a sensitive and tricky issue from a legal and moral perspective. I have sent you an email with a process that I put in place some time ago. I hope that it helps in some way.


Karey Sharp

Karey,  Thank you so much for your insights.  They were great!  Best, Kay


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