It doesn’t take much to find a customer who was dissatisfied with your service. Someone who simply does not like how you serve customers. Someone who maybe hates your guts but won’t bother saying it to your face. Say hello to the covert hater.
Among all the people who don’t like your business, the large majority of them are probably exactly that -- covert haters. Because it takes a certain level of abrasiveness and confrontation skills to take on a brand face to face. Most people who’ve suffered bad service just grin and bear it in front of the service provider, purely to avoid the unpleasantness of a scene. They then go ahead to tar and feather the brand in front of anyone who will listen in a feeble attempt at assuaging their feelings of “being had” by the brand.
Studies show that 65 percent of consumers cut ties with a brand over a single poor customer service experience!
The customer who bucks this trend by expressing his displeasure to you, directly, is actually a godsend. Take good care of him. He’ll show you the key to success.
1. Honest feedback.
The biggest favor that an angry customer does for you is to look you in the face and provide you unadulterated, honest feedback. He has just had a terrible experience with your brand and listing out exactly how bad it was is cathartic for the guy. While it may not be much fun to be at the receiving end of such a tirade, it definitely holds up the most honest mirror about your business to your face.
It offers you a chance to fix the various niggling flaws that your business may have without spending thousands of dollars on consultants. A smart business would actually encourage critical feedback. Use social media, email or even a targeted survey form on your website product pages. Collect honest, no-strings-attached opinions from your audience and you’ll have an automatic score card for how well your business is doing at the job of pleasing customers.
2. Setting yardsticks for other customers.
Nearly 60 percent of millennials share bad customer experiences online for all to see. The number is probably not too far behind for other demographic clusters either. The point here is, when a customer is upset with your brand, chances are high that tons of people are going to hear about it.
However bleak this scenario may seem to you at first, it’s not all bad. Just as an angry customer’s friends and family are listening to the customer’s rants, there are others (potential customers) tuned in to your responses to these complaints, thanks to the magic of social media. With prompt troubleshooting and sensitive customer handling, especially on social media, you demonstrate to your other customers that you really care about them and will go to any lengths to fix their problems. This goes a long way in building consumer trust in your brand.
3. Winning over a customer for life.
However much we as business owners dread the thought of dealing with an angry customer, the fact remains that 70 percent of customers will do business with you again if you resolve their complaints.
In other words, not only are you building great word of mouth when you fix a customer’s problems, you’re also winning over a customer for life. That will pay off dividends for years to come.
4. New product ideas.
Customer complaints can also be an unlikely source for new product ideas. Besides ranting about how unhappy they are with your product or service, many customers also offer suggestions of how they wished your product would be. These can often range from simple fixes to recurring problems that you’d probably do anyway to really smart product features that you never thought of, to even outlandish ideas that would never work for anyone but that particular customer.
“Keep an open mind about suggestions, but don't let them take you too far astray from your own product vision.”
Customer service is one of those things that comes in just three sizes – Small & Spunky, Medium & Ho-hum, and Large & Painful. An angry customer is the litmus test that calls out your business for the kind of customer service you stand for. So, what’s your size?