New technology will be able to identify nuisance callers who ring call centres to harass staff or cause problems.
Irate male customers could also be directed straight to a female operator, where they are more likely to be polite.
The new software, being developed in the US, will allow angry callers, trapped by a maze of automated questions, to be directed straight to specially trained staff with experience of conflict resolution.
The new system works by identifying customers who jab at telephone keys too quickly, shout down the phone too loudly, talk in a stressed tone or use swear words.
The technology is being developed by communications firm Mitel in response to the need for improved customer service at call centres.