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 gutsï¿½but won't bother saying it to your face. Say hello to the secret hater.
Among all the people whoï¿½don't like your business, the large majority of them are probably exactly that --ï¿½secret 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 inï¿½a feeble attempt at assuaging their feelings of "being had" by the brand.
The customer who bucks this trend byï¿½expressing 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 forï¿½you 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 pesos on consultants. A smart business would actually encourage critical feedback. 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% 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 withï¿½your 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% 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.
Your job as brand custodian is to keep your eyes and ears open, and not reject outright any ideas that may come from even a frustrated customer.
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?
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This article originally appeared on Entrepreneur.com. Minor edits have been done by the Entrepreneur.com.ph editor.ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½