Marketing Ideas Worth Sharing — Why Angry Customers Give the Best Feedback

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One of my marketing professors said the most important advice he had for us was that we should “pay close attention to angry customers who complain because they care enough about your product or service to let you know that it fails to meet their expectations.” This truth was hard for me to accept because like most former service workers I had terrible experiences feeling the blunt end of angry customers. I thought that their complaints only served the purpose to make my day more difficult. However, as I have gained more marketing experience, I have changed my old opinion and so I hope to convince you to start loving the hate with these supporting facts that prove my professor right!

Angry Customers that Complain Are a Rarity

Although some people might think that complaining customers are a common occurrence, the fact of the matter is that angry customers who complain are a small minority. According to statistics obtained from a Beyond Philosophy survey, 96% of unhappy customers don’t complain. Within the subset of these customers, 91% leave and never come back without saying anything! This is a problem because brand marketers cannot improve when customers leave without saying anything.

Moreover, according to the same Beyond Philosophy survey, when dissatisfied customers leave, they will tell between 9 to 15 people about their experience. This furthers the costs associated with unhappy customers. As a result, marketers need to acknowledge that the 4% of unhappy customers who do complain are a rare opportunity for improvement that should not be wasted. On top of the potential to turn a customer’s bad experience into a good experience and thereby cultivate customer loyalty, marketers can gain important insights from angry customers that complain since their dissatisfaction can be used to determine why the silent angry customers have left.

The Benefits of Saving an Angry Customer

The thing to remember about angry customers that complain is that they are only an angry customer if a marketer lets them leave unsatisfied. Therefore, marketers can control the situation and should not let the unhappy customer stay angry and become another bad statistic.

Another reason why saving an angry complaining customer is beneficial is because a happy customer who gets their issue resolved tells on average 4 to 6 people about their positive experience. This is great since the negative repercussions of bad word of mouth can be replaced with positive praise that enhances your company’s image! But if that is not enough, the process of saving angry complaining customers can also increase a company’s bottom line since small decreases in customer defection rates can lead to significantly increased profits depending on the company’s structure.

And with that, I hope that I’ve convinced a few marketers out there to appreciate the next angry customer they hear complaining.

I'm a marketing student learning the ins and outs of marketing and I hope that I can share my knowledge about it with others.

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