According to a Customer Experience Impact Report sponsored by RightNow, 82 percent of U.S. consumers said they have stopped doing business with a company due to poor service. Seventy-three percent of those said the rude staff was the main reason for the switch while 55 percent complained about a slow and inefficient resolution.
Every business will get an angry customer from time to time — the trick is to use the opportunity to identify trends and better train your staff on resolving issues.
Here are some customer persona insights to explore and ways in which to help them.
The Passive Complainer
Not all customers want to scream into the phone about their service and product issues. Some never bother to contact the appropriate person at all and you’ll never why they stopped buying from you or what you could have done to fix it.
Some passive complainers would rather take to social media to vent their frustrations from behind the veil of a screen. Doing nothing can just help spread their complaints and tarnish your company’s reputation. Look for Facebook posts and tweets calling out your brand or product by name and use the opportunity to resolve it publicly.
Apologize and offer to fix the problem promptly. Sometimes a simple acknowledgment or a point in the right direction can satisfy a passive complainer. Go the extra mile and follow up a week or two later by social media to ask if their problem was solved.
The Steam Blower
Some angry customers just want to complain and blow off steam to someone accountable. Their dissatisfaction may even be chronic and can result in repeated calls for just about anything.
This is an excellent opportunity to chart and anticipate the steam blower’s needs. You can use cloud-based call center software to track and resolve such issues — this way, no matter which agent is helping the customer, they know who the customers are and can anticipate their needs.
Fortunately, this type of customer may simply be satisfied with a customer service representative's sympathetic ear and a little human conversation. Remain patient and listen carefully. Repeat back their grievances with empathy and understanding and offer ways to rectify the situation.
The Aggressive Complainer
Aggressive customers aren't shy about voicing their dissatisfaction to anyone who will listen. This type of customer’s anger can typically escalate quickly, and they want swift justice and resolution. Respond promptly to their complaints, before they take to social media and other outlets to drag your company through the mud.
Listen fully to them and encourage them to go into detail about their issue. Using aggression back at them or showing detached indifference will only drag out the process and escalate the complaint. Instead, confidently and positively inform the customer how you will resolve the issue and do so as quickly as possible. Winning over an aggressive complainer could lead to their lifelong devotion.
The Problem Solver
Some angry customers just want to fix the problem and move on. They don’t wish to waste time going back and forth and will lay out what their problem is and what they want in return. But don’t dismiss their emotional maturity as a customer who can be easily swayed with a temporary fix. The problem solver still wants a comprehensive solution and may not take “No” for an answer.
Tell them exactly how you plan to rectify the situation step-by-step and invite them to follow up as desired. Give them a sense of control over the tasks at hand so that they can anticipate the result.
Delaying resolution and coming off unprepared may turn a problem solver into an aggressive customer. Listen to their complaints and put together a task-focused resolution. Problem solver customers are often easier to deal with than other personas and can help shed light on your business practices. You may discover a particular issue with the length of a service contract or inefficiencies in communication.
The Entitled Customer
Look for angry customers who feel even the smallest issue requires an over-the-top solution and unrealistic compensation. Often the entitled customer will keep repeating the same demand no matter what the customer service response is.
Train your call service agents to know all the available solutions front and back. Remain matter-of-fact with the customer and avoid getting sucked into a never-ending conversation cycle that no one will win. Lay out the final options with the customer, whether that's a discount on a future order, replacement or a refund.
There are a few upsides to dealing with the entitled customer. Listen to what they want and look for patterns. You may discover these types of customer personas want free shipping, a product upgrade or simply want something for nothing. Determine if their demands are something you can offer to VIP customers who upgrade their service contract or product subscription.