Why Angry Customers Are Good for Business
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With the Internet making it so easy for even tech-challenged people to reach a global audience with social media and other platforms, company and product reviews and complaints are more relevant than ever.
While positive reviews and endorsements can help your business considerably, negative reviews and legitimate online complaints can cause irreparable harm to your company’s reputation – and bottom line.
According to HuffPost, over 60% of customers will switch brands or suppliers over an unpleasant experience. And on top of the customers that you lose, the number of potential clients you will never see can be even greater. Therefore, it’s important to keep your customers as happy as possible.
Test Your Metal
No matter how hard you try, there will always be a few customers that fall through the cracks or become angry for one reason or another. When this happens, and customers do become angry, you should – of course- do everything possible to resolve their problems and return them to your fold of happy, loyal customers.
When angry customers call, it really tests the metal of your customer service team. If your team does its job effectively, all ends well, and the customer hangs up happy. If not, then things take a turn for the worse and the angry customer tells everyone they know about how evil your company is.
This is exactly why you should welcome the calls of angry customers; they give you the chance to do things better. In short, if your customer service improves, you win. If it doesn’t, you lose. With that in mind, let’s look at the ways angry customers can help improve customer service and ultimately increase revenues.
Help You Listen Better
In most cases, angry customers provide brutally honest and straightforward feedback about shortcomings in your product(s) or service(s). And while angry customers may only make up a tiny portion of your clientele, they can really help you understand the pain points or problems your customers are having with your products or services.
If you really pay attention to what your customers are complaining or angry about, you will understand how your business displeased these people. And once you understand the problem, you can start planning workable solutions.
Companies that do not listen to their angry customers risk never being able to reach their true potential, both in providing reliable products and services and offering better customer experiences.
Remember, there is always a reason customers are not happy with your business; it’s up to you and your team to figure out what it is. Effective listening is the first step to doing that.
Make You Find Better Solutions
Whether or not they realize it, the goal of every angry customer is to help your business improve. They may want you to improve your product(s), or they may want you to improve the quality of the service(s) you provide.
If you really want to improve upon the product(s) and service(s) you deliver, there is no better way than to listen to those most unhappy with your business. Of course, they probably don’t represent most of your customers, but they are the most vocal about what needs to be improved.
Listening to angry customers allows you to collect information that not only helps you deliver better products and services but also helps you make improvements to your business or brand as a whole. And if you’re doing things right, your efforts to make these customers happy again will help you find creative and effective solutions to satisfy them (or, at least you better be trying to satisfy them if you don’t want to destroy your brand’s reputation).
Thriving, successful businesses constantly strive to make their products or services better to make their customers happier. Listening to your angry customers (and caring about keeping them as customers) helps you to do that.
Find Out Who Cares About Your Brand
Sometimes, angry customers can just be… well, angry. However, many of your customers are probably genuinely interested in and passionate about your brand or products. When these customers become angry, they’re usually just disappointed for some reason.
With these types of customers, it’s really important to ask them why they’re angry and what they dislike about the product(s) or service(s) you provide to them. The more details and information you collect from angry customers, the more you can improve.
To disregard these angry, but passionate, customers is a colossal mistake, as they tend to provide the most useful feedback. Angry customers that vocalize their displeasure or disappointment are many times the ones that care about your brand or business the most.
If you simply chalk up these customers as being a case of “well, you can’t please everyone,” you are potentially ignoring (and losing) the customers who care enough to give you the most insight into improving your business.
Help Your People Understand Your Products/Services
One of the most important benefits of interacting with and listening to angry customers is the fact that such interactions can actually help you and your team better understand your own products and/or services.
Sometimes, understanding the little details about a product requires the help of someone with an outside perspective. Angry customers provide this type of perspective, for sure.
It’s often easy for a company to become complacent about the products or services it provides. Angry customers can help your business realize that perhaps your products aren’t actually as good as they could be and ways that they might be improved.
The more insight you have into your product(s), the more you can improve them or market them more advantageously.
Learn the Art of Apologizing
Sometimes, a simple “I am sorry” can stop an angry customer in their tracks. However, genuine apologies are something that few businesses and their customer service teams seem to understand or offer these days.
Sometimes, all an angry customer wants is to be heard and for someone to tell them they are sorry for their unpleasant experiences. Most times, righting a perceived wrong begins and ends with an apology.
Apologizing cost you or your team nothing and goes a long way in re-establishing trust between your business and the angry customer. And re-establishing trust is the most important step in retaining that customer.
Most customers will respect a business where agents or employees will own their mistakes and offer a sincere apology. If you or your team are not apologizing to angry customers (or not apologizing enough), you need to learn to do so.
Companies taking responsibility for their shortcomings is fast becoming a lost art. Therefore, when companies do own their mistakes, customers really appreciate it.
Give You the Chance to Exceed Expectations
Before you give up on angry customers, stop to consider the fact that they give you opportunities to turn negative customer experiences into positive ones and to exceed expectations.
When angry customers call, give your agents the autonomy and authority to come up with creative solutions to solve problems. This will help you solve problems without having to keep customers on hold or transfer them multiple times to managers or supervisors.
Exceeding angry customers’ expectations during “complaint calls” not only helps you re-establish trust, it also helps to raise expectations for your business overall, which increases the chances that those customers will continue to purchase your products and/or services.
Gain Customer Perspective
When you run a business, it’s easy to get too close to your own vision or viewpoint. Helping angry customers can give you some much needed outside perspective – even if it’s not the kind you want to hear.
When you get too close, you can get tunnel vision about your business and its products and/or services. This limits your opportunities to improve your business and give your customers what they really want. Conversely, negative feedback from angry customers can be (and should be) considered constructive criticism that can help your business on many levels.
Feedback from angry customers will help you stop viewing your business through a clouded or rose-colored lens and make the improvements your business needs to thrive and grow.
Keeps You On Your Toes
These days, online negative reviews are the fear and nemesis of virtually every business. Once complaints and problems are aired on online forums or on social media, it’s next to impossible to claw them back or get rid of them.
Few things can keep your customer service team as nimble and efficient as having to deal with angry customers because of a product or service shortcoming. Finding ways to resolve angry customer issues – before they hang up – can help your business avoid negative reviews.
Turn Them Into Brand Ambassadors
One of the biggest benefits of angry customers and complaints is being able to turn them into brand ambassadors for your company. Of course, this does not happen with 100 percent of dissatisfied customers. However, if you truly listen to your customers and resolve their issues, there is a very good chance they will become your most loyal followers.
There are many ways you might win your angry customers over and make them happy again; and how you do that will depend on your team’s creativity and sincerity of purpose. Nevertheless, if you can find solutions to your customers’ problems, they will generally reward your business with loyalty and considerable word-of-mouth advertising.
In most cases, winning back your angry customers requires little more than listening, empathy, and commitment to finding satisfactory resolutions. In the end, customers that adore your brand want nothing more than products and/or services that work, a friendly voice to talk to, and acknowledgement and empathy when they have problems. If your team can provide those things, you’ll have customers for life.
IA Solutions Can Help
In a perfect world, all your customers would be happy with your products and services all the time. However, as we all know, this simply is not possible. Things happen, and as a result, some customers will always find fault in your offerings or services. Therefore, when customers are not happy, you must do everything possible to solve their problems and mitigate any potential damage to your business.
At IA Solutions, we have been helping our clients with angry customers for over 50 years. Our team is more than just adept at dealing with angry customers and complaints; we’re experts.
When you partner with IA Solutions, you will have access to our global team of top-notch talent who can help provide exceptional customer experiences – even to your angry customers. With our best-in-class boutique customer support services, we can help you reduce customer churn and abandonment while increasing loyalty and retention.
If you would like to learn more about how IA Solutions can help your business provide better customer experiences, please click here to schedule a no-cost, no-obligation consultation. Alternatively, you can contact us via email at [email protected] or toll-free at 888-631-9711. We look forward to hearing from you.